FR Mateja Jovanovic notched a pair goals in the victory
FORT WORTH, Texas – Texas Wesleyan Men’s Soccer (1-0) started the season with a 4-0 shutout against the Dallas Christian Crusaders at Gateway Park. Saturday’s game is Texas Wesleyan’s third win against Dallas Christian overall.
“Overall, I’m just really happy to start the season off 1-0,” said Cole Sweetser, the head men’s soccer coach. “Hopefully, we can build on that and continue to perform.”
The Rams got an early lead in the fifth minute with a goal by freshman midfielder Mateja Jovanovic, who was assisted by sophomore defender Lazar Pavlovic. It was Jovanovic’s first goal playing for Rams.
Senior goalkeeper Bastian Blumenberg had his first save of the night in the seventh minute by blocking a shot by Dallas Christian’s Diego Rodas. Blumenberg went on to have a total of five saves throughout the game, one of them was a penalty shot in the box, and four of them were from shots by Rodas.
The Rams outshot the Crusaders 22-10 and held the majority possession throughout the game. The Rams had a solid first half but really shined in the second half.
“To be honest, I wasn’t too happy with the first half,” Sweetser said. “I kind of got into the guys a little bit at halftime and was really proud of the way that they responded. They came out and really played much better, the way I want them to play, in the second half.”
At the 46th minute, Julian Avila, a freshman midfielder from Mineral Wells, Texas, scored the second goal of the night after missing his shot at the end of the first half. He had an assist by sophomore forward Hector Perez, who got a penalty shot on goal later in the second half. It was saved by Dallas Chrisitan’s goalkeeper Alexy Tobias.
Jovanovic scored his second time of the night in the 59th minute after kicking a shot too wide in the game’s 56th minute.
At the 65th minute, Glenn Gaituri, a sophomore forward from Kenya, took a shot on goal, but Tobias blocked it out of bounds. Gaituri then led a corner kick, which allowed Perez, senior defender Matheus Macedo, and Pavlovic to get shots on goal in a flurry of attempts. Pavlovic ended up scoring the Rams’ fourth goal of the night.
“I want to see us start the next game the way we finished this game,” Sweetser said.
The Rams 4-0 victory leaves them the potential to start a winning streak with their next game against Louisiana State University Shreveport on Oct. 8 at Martin Field.