CWRU Men’s Soccer 2017 Season Recap

CWRU Men’s Soccer 2017 Season Recap

Facing one of the toughest schedules among all NCAA Division III teams in 2017, the Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team finished the year with an overall record of 7-9-2.

The Spartans faced six opponents throughout the year that were nationally ranked at the time of the contest, posting a 1-5 record in such games during the season. CWRU also played seven teams during the season that went on to qualify for the Division III NCAA Championship Tournament.

One of the highlights of the year for CWRU was a 1-0 win over then fourth-ranked Lycoming College on September 23rd. The game was scoreless until the 20th minute of play when sophomore midfielder Zachary Senft received a pass from sophomore midfielder Marques Manta and delivered a shot past the Warrior's goalkeeper from the right side of the box. With that victory, CWRU has now defeated two-top-five ranked teams in the past two seasons, with the last coming against then second-ranked Kenyon College of September 27, 2016.

The Spartans also battled to a 3-2 overtime win against Emory University, which made it to the third round of the NCAA Championships, on October 29th. Senior Michael Balog connected on a header off a corner kick by freshman Connor Weber just over three minutes into the second overtime period. CWRU also played to a tough 1-0 loss against Brandeis University and a heart-breaking 2-1 overtime loss to the University of Chicago. Both Brandeis and Chicago advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

CWRU also proved to be a challenge to North Park University, which made it to the finals of the NCAA Championship, as they put up a pair of goals against one of the top defenses in Division III. A late 'own goal' ultimately cost the Spartans a 3-2 loss to then 10th-ranked North Park.

The University Athletic Association had four teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Paced by All-University Athletic Association First Team selections in senior goalkeeper Calvin Boyle and junior defender Christian Lytle, the Spartans finished the year as a tough defensive-minded team.

Boyle, who was named to the All-Great Lakes Third Team as well, was exceptional throughout the 2017 season, earning UAA Defensive Athlete of the Week on September 5th. He ranked second in the UAA with 82 saves and second with a .804 save percentage. Boyle posted a 6-9-2 record with three shutouts.

In 59 career matches, including 54 starts, Boyle has recorded 287 saves, 23 wins and 14 shutouts. He ranks second in program history in wins, tied for second in shutouts and third in saves.

This was the first career All-UAA honor for Lytle, who played a major role on the Spartan defense this season. He aided the team to four shutouts and also helped the defense hold opponents to 6.6 shots on goal per game. Also contributing offensively, Lytle recorded one goal and one assist for three points.

In addition, junior forward Alex Besl claimed All-UAA Second Team honors, while Senft earned All-UAA Honorable Mention.

During his junior year, Besl contributed a team-high five assists and scored four goals for 13 points. He also scored the game-winning goal against Marietta in September, beating the keeper in a one-on-one opportunity.

Senft finished his first season as a Spartan with a team-leading 15 points on six goals and three assists. He also ranked first on the team in shots (45) and shots on goal (18).

Head Coach Brandon Bianco concluded his fifth season at Case Western Reserve with a 39-35-15 overall record over his career.

In addition to the team's success on the field, the Spartans excelled in the classroom as well in 2017. The squad received the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award with a team grade point average of 3.50 to rank seventh among men's soccer programs in Division III. Thirteen members of the squad also earned All-Academic honors: Balog, Besl, junior Paul Darmstadter, junior Brady Daulton, senior Christian Grimme, senior Alex Keller-Biehl, junior Reed Kurtenbach, sophomore Kyle Lewis, Lytle, sophomore Chas Novitsky, senior Jack Rademacher, sophomore Garrett Winter and sophomore Brian Woo.

The Spartans earned the following honors during the 2017 season:

United Soccer Coaches All-Great Lakes Region

 

 

Calvin Boyle

Third Team

Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley

 

 

 

All-University Athletic Association

 

 

Calvin Boyle

First Team

Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley

Christian Lytle 

First Team

Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota West

Alex Besl

Second Team

Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier

Zachary Senft 

Honorable Mention

Bay Village, Ohio/St. Ignatius

 

 

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

 

 

Calvin Boyle

Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley

 Sept. 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following were the 2017 statistical leaders for the Spartans: 

Goals

Seldon Magruder, Zachary Senft

6

Assists

Alex Besl

5

Points

Zachary Senft 

15

Game Winning Goals

Michael Balog

2

Shots

Zachary Senft

45

Shots on Goal

Zachary Senft

18

Wins

Calvin Boyle 

6

Saves

Calvin Boyle

82

Shutouts

Calvin Boyle

3

Goals Against Average

Calvin Boyle

1.23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*minimum of 900 minutes