Men’s soccer completes regular season with loss, draw

The Tufts men's soccer team is pictured on Oct. 16. Kiana Vallo / The Tufts Daily

The men’s soccer team completed its regular season this week, losing to Connecticut College on Saturday and drawing Bowdoin on Tuesday. The loss to Conn. College was the Jumbos’ first of the season. 

Tuesday afternoon’s road matchup with Bowdoin proved difficult in many different aspects for the Jumbos. Torrential rain combined with strong winds created conditions on the pitch that were nearly dangerous. After two overtimes, the game ended in a 1–1 draw.

“It definitely didn’t help us play better,” junior goalkeeper Jake Totz said of the weather. “But we have to deal with the conditions we’re given.”

After a back-and-forth first half, in which much of the play was sloppy due to the field conditions, Bowdoin struck first in the 38th minute. A ball slipped through the box, just past first-year goalkeeper Erik Lauta and into the left corner for the game’s opening score.

However, the Jumbos responded quickly, attacking with intensity after conceding. Sophomore midfielder Liam Gerkin created space down the right sideline, centering the ball to senior midfielder Calvin Aroh for an emphatic one-time strike into the top right corner, bringing the score level at one. 

The goal marked Aroh’s sixth of the season. Gerkin collected his first collegiate assist on the pass.

The Jumbos continued to attack the Polar Bears’ defense in the second half, putting up 10 shots and only conceding one. However, neither team could crack through, so the game went to extra time.

Despite their five shots in the two 10-minute overtime periods, the Jumbos could not find the back of the net, taking their third draw of the season. 

Bowdoin goalkeeper Chris Kingston saved 11 of the 12 shots the Jumbos put on goal. 

Tufts dropped its first game of the season Saturday at Conn. College, losing 2–0 on two goals by Conn. College’s Rye Jaran. 

The Camels came out hot in the first half, firing seven shots at Lauta, with five on goal. Lauta managed to keep six of their eight shots on goal out of the back of the net. 

Despite Tufts turning up the attacking intensity and taking more shots in the second half, Jaran proved too much for the Jumbos. His goals in the 58th and 67th minutes put Tufts away for good. 

Tufts now advances to the NESCAC tournament, with quarterfinals beginning Saturday, Oct. 30 against Bowdoin. Tufts will host the first round at home on Bello Field.

“We’re excited to get out there and play [Bowdoin] on [our] turf this time, and hopefully win and advance and keep playing games,” Totz said.