By: Steven Wright, Sports Editor
Wrapping up the regular season home schedules, Baujan Field played host to two wins between the University of Dayton men’s and women’s soccer teams Friday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 27.
It was the Sunday loss by the men’s team that is defining the directions both are heading.
The men’s team took down Duquesne University 1-0 Friday with a 73rd minute goal by junior forward Greg Enstone before falling 1-0 to St. Bonaventure University Sunday. The women’s team won its eighth in a row Sunday with a 3-1 decision over Fordham University.
After its 10-0-0 start to the season at the conclusion of non-conference play, the men’s team now sits at 1-2-2 in Atlantic 10 Conference play and in 10th place overall with five points. The top eight teams advance to the postseason tournament, which will be held at Baujan Field from Nov. 14 through Nov. 17.
The women’s team has seen the opposite result, starting the year 2-4 before reeling off a 9-0-1 record since in which it has shutout seven opponents, including six straight at one point. The Sunday win also clinched at least a share of its 11th A-10 regular season title, and almost assuredly the No. 1 seed for the A10 Tournament, which begins Nov. 7.
Earlier this season, the men’s team was ranked as the highest scoring team in the country at 2.8 goals per game. In A-10 play, a slump has hit and the team has scored three times in five matches.
Against the competition it has faced this season in the A-10, the women’s team has been the league’s highest scoring group, averaging three goals per match, while only allowing a total of three goals in its six matches.
“All the seniors right now recognize how much every game means,” women’s head coach Mike Tucker said. “They’re on a bit of a mission right now.”
Meanwhile, men’s head coach Dennis Currier has said on multiple occasions after recent matches the team realizes it’s in a scoring slump, and is working as hard as it can to get back on track.
Both teams are nearing the end of their seasons. While the women can begin preparation for life as the hunted in the postseason, the men are set to begin a three-game journey on the road, playing for its tournament life.
The women get a possible tournament preview against La Salle University Friday, Nov. 1, in Philadelphia, Pa., before a game against St. Joseph’s University Sunday, Nov. 3, who will be playing to get in the tournament.
The men also will face La Salle Sunday in Philadelphia, Pa., which currently sits in a tie for second place with Virginia Commonwealth University.
Women’s soccer senior midfielder Juliana Libertin is the NCAA’s active leader in career assists with 40, and second in the country this season with 13. Men’s soccer senior midfielder Abe Keller is in the top 15 in the country in total points this year with 22, and tied for ninth in assists with eight.
Both have been instrumental parts to their teams’ successes this season.
One is moving up. The other has work to do.