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Men’s Soccer splits in two thrilling SSC matches

By DEVON CONWAY

In this week’s two game match-up, the Spartans took on Rollins University on Oct. 4 and Barry University on Oct. 7. The Spartans managed to pull out a 2-0 win over No. 17 Rollins, but lost 1-0 against Barry.

In the first matchup against Rollins at home, the Spartans came out strong and ready to play. Felipe Desousa, forward senior transfer from Florida Gulf Coast University, netted a goal just 40 seconds into the match to put the Spartans up 1-0 against the Tars. The Spartans were able to hold off the Tars all half and remain 1-0 going into the last 45 minutes of the game. Just seven minutes into the second half, senior forward Monty Berrow extended the Spartans lead to 2-0, thanks to the assist from Desousa. Rollins was unable to score, despite outshooting the Spartans 7-3 in the second half.

“Being a transfer, I know it would take some time for the coaching staff and players to put trust in me,” Desousa said. “The way I can show them is to perform at a high level every time I step on the field and score goals to help the team pull out a win.”

Another key aspect for the Spartans was Jake Richards, sophomore goalkeeper. Richards tallied his first shutout of the season against Rollins.

“It felt great to get the shutout,” Richards said. “Hopefully it could come more often in games; it wasn’t just a good feeling for me but as a team it was good to help us gain confidence. As a team, a goal of ours is to get as many shutouts as possible to help us win games.”

After the win against Rollins, the Spartans took on Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. The game was scoreless throughout the first half, remaining 0-0 as both teams headed into the second half. Despite Desousa having five shots on goal and the Spartans outshooting the Bucs 18-12, the Bucs were able to score late in the second half in the 80th minute.

“I think that our best aspect of play in the Barry game was our attack,” Richards said. “We put pressure on them, but it seemed that the ball would not go in the net. They got a lucky break and capitalized on the opportunity.”

Despite the loss, the Spartans held the advantage in corners 7-4 but fouled the Bucs 16 times during the span of game. Richards knows his team can bounce back after the loss.

“We can’t let our heads down,” Richards said. “There are plenty more games to come and we need to win these remaining game.”

Moving forward, head coach Adrian Bush knows his team can have a successful rest of the season.

“I believe in this team,” Bush said. “I know we can forget about the tough loss against Barry. We can use that feeling to push us forward, correct our mistakes, and help us focus on the rest of the season.”

The Spartans are set to take on Embry-Riddle at home on rivals Lynn University away on Oct. 14 and Nova Southeastern on Oct. 17. The Spartans are now .500 in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) and are looking to improve their overall record the next few games.

Devon Conway can be reached at devon.conway@spartans.ut.edu

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