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Sports Report

Comets fight for a 2-2 season start
Written by Zach Hurdle, UTD Mercury

UTD men's soccer split a tough four opening games, including a loss to No. 1 Trinity, to start the new season with a record of 2-2.

The Comets lost their opener Sept. 1 to Augsburg College 2-0, but followed it up with a 2-0 shutout of Colorado College the following day.

Despite being held to only five shots on goal and being outshot 20-11 by Colorado College, the Comets were still able to put two away in the net.

International political economy junior Bruno Alonso put up the first UTD goal for the new season 27:57 into the game. Computer science senior Mihai Cotet was credited with the assist.

"We usually do have a slow start," Head Coach Jack Peel said, "It doesn't make me happy, but our guys will start getting better as the season continues."

The Comets' home opener and third match of the season was against the top-ranked school in the nation, Trinity University. Despite the 5-0 loss, Peel said there were good things to take out of the game.

"We had moments we looked good, and we still didn't quit," Peel said. "We went at it."

Trinity outshot UTD 23-9, getting eight shots on goal and scoring on five of them.

The Comets turned right around the next day to play Southwestern University.

Undeclared sophomore Kevin White scored the only goal of the game, as UTD won 1-0 to improve to 2-2 on the season.

"Being right after that loss to Trinity, I didn't know how they would respond," Peel said. "It wasn't the prettiest thing, but we won."

Peel said a big issue this season is that players just aren't as prepared as he would like them to be. He said the offseason workouts and preseason took such a toll on them they weren't completely fit for the regular season.

Peel previously said a big focus of this year's squad would be to stress shot accuracy and thus more goals.

After four games, the Comets only scored three goals, but Peel said in shooting practices he can tell shots are getting much more on target.

There are three improvements Peel listed that he would like the team to make.

He said he'd like the same level of competitiveness throughout a whole game, more cohesiveness as a unit and "again, more scoring, which comes back to being fit."

The Comets' next game is at Austin College Sept.. 18, and then the team returns home to play the University of the Ozarks Sept. 22.

"At one point, I thought we could have easily gone 0-4," Peel said. "But 3-1 would be terrific and 2-2 I'm pleased with. It's the minimum I could hope for."

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