IRVING, TX -- The men's Crusader soccer team scratched and clawed against the highly ranked UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, but ultimately fell short by a score of 2-1. The Banana Slugs entered the contest ranked first in the NCAA DIII West Region poll and sixth in the NCAA DIII National poll.
The game was primarily played at the midfield, with the two teams combining for only five shots on goal. After being scored on early in the game, the Crusaders answered back on a beautiful header by midfielder Michael Chapman (Madison, MS/St. Joseph Catholic H.S.) that was assisted by junior midfielder/forward Ryan Meske (Niwot, CO/Niwot H.S.) and senior midfielder Aaron Tucker (North Richland Hills, TX/Birdville H.S.). The two teams played hard for the rest of the half but neither could break the scoreless tie. The second half was very similar to the first, but UD failed to answer the early goal by Santa Cruz, sending them to their seventh defeat of the year.
On the brighter side, Sunday was senior day, in which four players were honored. The 2009 Senior members are: defender Thomas Whisenhunt, midfielder Mike McIlhon (San Diego, CA/St. Augustine H.S.), midfielder Aaron Tucker and defender Matt Stamper (Bentonville, AR/Bentonville H.S.).