JAKE CHRISMAN ‘20 | STAFF WRITER • The Little Giants soccer team concluded their regular season and celebrated their senior day this past weekend at home against The College of Wooster. In low scoring defensive game, the Little Giants came out on top, winning 1-0. Cesar Martinez ’21 scored for the Little Giants.
The Little Giants honored the team’s eight seniors, Alexiz Arellano ’18, Spase Dorsuleski ’18, Mike Gore ’18, Stojan Krsteski ’18, Bayden Lee ’18, Noah Newcomb ’18, Cory Sims ’18, and Francisco Trejo ’18, this past Saturday before the 1-0 victory. With the win on Saturday, the group of seniors became the winningest class in Wabash soccer history with 46 wins. “It feels great to know that my class and I have come such a long way. We put in a lot of work over the past four years and our expectation every year became to make the conference tournament,” Krsteski said.
Coming off of the victory over DePauw, the Little Giants still carried momentum, but the first half the game started out very quiet. The Little Giants were able to get off six shot attempts, but only one found the net. In the 41st minute Martinez was able to find the goal and gave the Little Giants a 1-0 lead that they would take into the half.
In the second half the Wabash defense took over and didn’t concede a single shot on goal to the Fighting Scots. While the team’s defense dominated the second half, the offense struggled to gain ground. The Little Giants were held to just three shots in the second half. “We created plenty of opportunities, we just had trouble making a good final pass,” Krsteski said. “We love to possess the ball and create chances, but sometimes that last pass or finishing the shot just doesn’t happen.” Chad Wunderlich ’21 started in goal for the Little Giants and recorded two saves and the shutout for the Little Giants.
“We, as a team, are thankful that we can rely on a solid defensive lineup,” Martinez said. “Shutting teams out though is a team effort and it requires everyone to keep pressure on the opponent at all times.”
The win over Wooster helped the Little Giants improve to 11-5-1 overall and 5-3-1 in conference. This and a Denison loss earned Little Giants the number three seed in the conference tournament and matched them against the two seed Ohio Wesleyan University. “We prepared for this game like any other, and we treat every team in our conference the same,” said Krsteski. “We have tweaked a few things in our game play, but ultimately we just want to do our thing.”
In a back and forth game in Delaware, Ohio between the Little Giants and the Battling Bishops, it was the Battling Bishops that came out on top, 3-2, in the first overtime. Sims scored both goals for the Little Giants.
In the first half the Little Giants struck first, when in the 45th minute Sims picked up a loose ball in the box and scored his first goal of the game. The Little Giants defense held Ohio Wesleyan to no goals on seven shot attempts in a rainy first half. Wabash would head into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. “We tried to be more consistent with our offensive opportunities and make better decisions,” Martinez said. “It was really a focus in practice this past week.”
The Battling Bishops struck swiftly in the second half and tied the game at one with a goal in the 54th minute. Sims, however, found a way to retake the lead for the Little Giants when he rebounded an Ohio Wesleyan save and punched it into the net in the 58th minute. The Little Giants held this lead until the final two minutes of the game when they allowed a Battling Bishop goal just seconds into the 89th minute. Ohio Wesleyan was able to get off two shot attempts in the first overtime, the second finding the net and giving them a 3-2 win over the Wallies.
Demitri Lee ’21 started in goal for the Little Giants. Lee and the rest of the Little Giants defense held the Battling Bishops to three goals on 22 shot attempts. Lee recorded 5 saves in the 3-2 loss Wednesday night. The loss to Ohio Wesleyan concludes the Little Giants season. The Little Giants finished with a record of 11-6-1 overall and 5-3-1 in conference play.