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Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

ODU Men’s Soccer Bid Farewell to 27-Year Head Coach Alan Dawson in Home Finale Against No. 6 Marshall

Dawson has won 262 games, taken ODU to 12 NCAA tournaments, and won six conference titles.
Stephen Blue (Courtesy of ODU Athletics)
Sophomore forward Michael Eberle in action against Marshall on Friday night.

Nostalgia filled the ODU soccer complex as Alan Dawson’s 27-year coaching career ended Friday night with a men’s soccer home game against #6 Marshall, where the Monarchs fell 2-0. 

Both sides came into the contest reeling due to losing streaks. Marshall, once the top-ranked team in the nation, had dropped to #6 due after losses to Sun Belt opponents West Virginia and Kentucky. The Monarchs conversely were on a four-game skid and in need of a win. 

Overall, the Monarchs gave a solid performance on the evening, excluding two brief lapses in play that yielded the goals that gave Marshall the advantage at full-time. 

Marshall applied pressure throughout the first half, but the ODU defense was able to clear a ball out of danger in the 20th minute. This ball was deep in Monarch territory and, with a cross, could have been a dangerous goal opportunity. The Thundering Herd threatened again as, off a corner, they were able to net a header. Fortunately for the home side, the Marshall player was offside and the goal was disallowed. 

In the final minute of the half, the Monarchs had a chance to take the lead. ODU  lined up for a corner kick but was not able to gain a shot on goal due to a long service ball. 

With this, The Thundering Herd and the Monarchs were tied 0-0 at half. The Monarchs managed to survive the surge of the #6 team in the nation for the first 45 minutes. 

Unfortunately, the second half did not go as well as the first half for the Monarchs. Marshall was able to cash in with a goal in the 54th minute that came off a Marshall corner where Herd defenseman Braian Amaro headed a ball into the goal. This put the Monarchs behind 1-0.  

Following this, the Monarchs kept the contest within reach through the middle portion of the second half. Goalie Michael Statham made a couple of saves and directed his defensive side to keep the ball out of the dangerous area.

Old Dominion held a pregame ceremony for Alan Dawson. (Stephen Blue (Courtesy of ODU Athletics))

Both sides made late game substitutions to manufacture a much-needed kickstart. The Marshall substitutions came up big as fifth year Ghanaian Alexander Adjatey found the back of the goal with  a rocket shot. Adjatey was able to force the issue with speed on the counter attack and score on a crossover move into the middle of the field in the 80th minute, giving Marshall a 2-0 lead.. 

The Monarchs didn’t throw in the towel though. A Teagan Dunne header flew barely wide off a setup by Jonas Schmalbach in the 80th minute. In the 87th minute, striker Michael Eberle fell on misfortune as a shot clanged off the right post of the goal in the 87th minute. 

Despite the Monarch’s best efforts, at the final whistle, the physical match on the night ended in favor of the visiting Thundering Herd. 

When asked about his final home match, head coach Alan Dawson commented, “We showed a lot of heart and guts tonight and I expect we will show the same on Tuesday night. We are not going to back down and are fighting for points to get into the tournament.”

The Monarchs will take on fifth ranked West Virginia on Tuesday night to close out regular season play. Due to their losing streak, the Monarchs have dropped to eighth place in the conference as they look ahead to postseason play. 

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About the Contributor
Art Neal
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at [email protected].

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