New Look Red Devils Promise to Excite

Dickinson Men’s soccer stormed their way to an 8-0 victory against Keystone College in their home opener.

The Red Devils looked like a completely new team compared to last year, and, in a lot of ways, they are. Coach Jorge Chapoy’s drastic changes to the look of the team and twelve new freshmen on the team make for a completely new identity.

Coach Chapoy refreshingly admitted to getting his tactics wrong in his first year here. He admits that he had the team playing too defensively, a choice that often led to the team’s losses. Before the game, Chapoy said, “The easiest thing is to clear the ball out of the final third. You take the danger away momentarily, but if you don’t have the ball, it’s difficult to win games. Last year, we had to defend too much. We are trying to be a little more aggressive, trying to be on the front foot…. I always want to be the aggressor and take the majority of the shots and have the ball.”

Dickinson dominated throughout the Keystone game, scoring within twenty seconds, but the goal was chalked off for offsides. This did not deter the Dickinson attack, and five minutes later, they were on the board. A well-worked attack started from the midfield. Ethan Jarden ’26 passed to Saul Owowo ’26, who found Geoffrey Ogenrwot ’25. Ogenrwot then returned  the ball to Jarden, who placed it into the back of net. Dickinson never looked back.

Jarden also scored the second goal, smashing the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Coach Chapoy preached for his team to continuously press high up the pitch, hoping to pressure the other team. Chapoy said, “it’s definitely a high pressing formation. The easiest time to win the ball is right after you lose it and that often happens in the opponent’s final third.”

From the moment the whistle sounded, the Dickinson attackers sprinted after the Keystone defenders, forcing them to concede the ball. From the starters to the players who came in off the bench, it was clear that everyone on the roster bought into the high press strategy, making it  effective. Well-executed high pressing tactics kept the pressure on Keystone’s defense, forcing defenders to either quickly get rid of the ball or make mistakes that could be capitalized on. Throughout the game, Dickinson won the ball back often in dangerous areas, due to the high press. The press was one of the main factors in Dickinson’s ability to totally dominate possession. The third goal exemplified the perfect use of the high press. Substitute Luke Belies ’24 lost the ball after good pressure from Keystone, but he never stopped running. Belies sprinted after the ball and finally forced a mistake by a Keystone defender, winning the ball back. Belies then calmly played the ball into the middle and Will Flannery ’23 easily tucked it home.

Dickinson managed eight goals from six different goal scorers. Dickinson’s depth was incredibly impressive. Thirty one team-members played yet there was never a significant drop off in level. Chapoy said, “the goal is to have competition at every position. We want good guys at every position and have those battles which lead to everyone improving, all trying to fight for the starting role. It’s only going to benefit the team.” Every player worked hard, was well organized and did their best to make coach Chapoy’s job in choosing a lineup a little harder. Eight underclassmen started on Saturday, including four freshmen, and all shined. An attack made up entirely of underclassmen played like seasoned veterans.

Owowo and Ogenrwot were especially impressive, they both showed real desire, confidence, and ability to beat defenders. Watch for the two of them to be electric in the Dickinson attack throughout the season. Chapoy said, “it’s exciting to have young guys. With that there will be growing pains. And it’s really important to have strong upperclassmen and, fortunately, we do.”

The underclassmen are a huge part of Coach Chapoy’s plans and they shined, combining for eight goal contributions. But the importance of the upperclassmen shouldn’t go unnoticed. The centerback combination of Mack Moore ’25 and Andrew McSlarrow ’23 is the perfect partnership of under and upperclassmen. The two communicated throughout the game, always making sure to stay organized, and it worked. They stifled the Keystone attack, often forcing them offsides.

McSlarrow also assisted Moore for one of Dickinson’s eight goals. Coach Chapoy understands that the team struggled last year, but he is ready to embrace a new year. He hopes that the Dickinson community does too. “We are going to improve. We are working hard and we are going to be better. If people come and watch, they will get to watch an exciting game. The guys are aggressive. They work hard. They want to win. The one thing we don’t want is to have a team that doesn’t show a lot of passion, that doesn’t show a lot of effort and aggression to be the better player on the field.”