The Nu Delta Chi Vikings faced off against the Alpha Omega Delta Lions Saturday, Sept. 20, marking the start of this year’s 11-man intramural soccer season.
Although each side sought to begin the season strong, neither would go home with the victory, as they each netted two goals, ending the game in a draw.
The match started with Omega senior Isaac Bancroft firing in a shot during the opening minutes, giving the Lions a quick 1-0 advantage and all the accompanying momentum. The Lions kept the pressure up early and were able to get a few more shots on goal, but the Vikings’ defense was able to thwart their scoring attempts and eventually began to turn the tide.
With three minutes remaining in the first half and Nu Delt pushing the pace, Viking sophomore Johnny Aguilar rocketed a shot toward the Omega goal. Although the Lions’ goalkeeper appeared to have saved the goal at first, the ruling was that the ball broke the plane, tying the game at 1-1.
With just a few minutes to go before halftime, the Viking defense and offense were beginning to slow, showing signs of fatigue and exhaustion. After subbing out two key players, the Vikings looked to add some energy to the field and get through the half without giving up another goal.
Omega saw an opportunity to strike before the break and moved up the field to pressure the Vikings once again. The Lions were able to get a good shot off, but the shot went high and both teams headed into halftime with one goal apiece.
The Vikings started out the second half by controlling gameplay for the opening several minutes, feeding off the offense coming from sophomore Diego Campos and junior Fredy Whatley, while relying on their defensive powerhouse, sophomore Andrew Sealey.
About 12 minutes in, however, Omega regained possession and passed the ball to senior Drew Petersen. Petersen charged down the field and maneuvered his way around the Nu Delt goalkeeper, who dove for the ball. Petersen then slipped the ball into the net, giving Omega a 2-1 advantage with 13 minutes left in the game.
Although the Lions now had the momentum, the Vikings were ready to demonstrate that they were not ready to give up. With the Omega offense constantly pressuring the Viking defense, Sealey of Nu Delt held up his own, spoiling all of the Lions’ scoring attempts and proving his defensive value.
The defensive pressure of the Vikings paid off, as Aguilar was in the right place at the right time, scoring an unlikely goal that found its way into the back of the Omega net with just four minutes left in regulation. Neither team scored in the remaining minutes, ending the year’s first game with a 2-2 tie.