Ten goals in five games lead soccer to undefeated start

Jesse Martinez ’26 celebrates his goal with a salute against Anderson University at Fischer Field on September 12.
Photo by Elijah Greene ’25

The Wabash soccer team is on a roll this season, riding a wave of 10 goals in their opening matches from a starting attack comprised entirely of underclassmen. Wabash remains undefeated after five games.

Over the September 9-10 weekend, the Little Giants traveled to the Berry Invitational in Berry, GA. Their first match came against Berry College. Due to adverse weather conditions, the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

The Little Giants were determined to bounce back, and they did just that in second match against Birmingham-Southern
College on Sunday morning. In one of the most thrilling matches of the weekend, Wabash emerged with a 3-2 victory, ready to continue their impressive 2023 campaign.

Two days later, the Little Giants returned to Fischer Field for their home opener, securing a dominant 3-1 victory against Anderson University and maintaining their unbeaten streak. The first half was a grueling defensive affair, where both teams struggled to create chances on offense.

Despite the dominant control of the game’s pacing, with many crosses and corners, Wabash struggled converting their ball
possession to points on the board. The second half took a drastic turn in Wabash’s favor. Just minutes into the half, freshman winger Bryce Kinnaman ’27 made his impact on the game, scoring twice in a quick five-minute stretch, solidifying a win for Wabash in his first home game as Little Giant.

“Well, home games are 100% better than away games,” said Kinnaman. “I’ve been to a few home games as a recruit and saw how they were. But playing on the field, you get a completely different sense of how it feels to be a part of Wabash with the Sphinx
Club standing outside on the wall. That was really cool to see.”

After securing the lead with Kinnaman’s two goals, the Little Giants appeared to relax, which resulted in lax defending and a goal for Anderson. However, Jesse Martinez ’26 sealed the game for Wabash with a goal in 73rd minute, extinguishing Anderson’s last hopes of victory.

Even looking at the stats, it’s clear that the new additions to the team are comfortable in their new roles at Wabash and they seem be the catalyst to the success of the season. Escalante and Kinnaman are tied for lead scorer with four goals apiece with Martinez coming in third with two goals.

“Your spot is never guaranteed whether you’re a freshman or a senior,” said Kinnaman. “So I have a good run of form right now. But that doesn’t mean in two games, I’ll be starting still. So that gives me inspiration to keep working, keep battling and no matter what, if I’m a freshman or not, I still get to fight for my spot to be starting every game.”

While it is less common to see a team that produces most of its points from the newest additions, thus far the team has been able to ride this scoring avalanche. Older members of the team seem to have embraced the scoring abilities of these three younger players.

“It is great to see the younger guys showcasing their talents and strength to our squad,” said Hugo Garcia ’24, the team’s stalwart senior midfield defender. “I can’t wait to see how they will develop over the rest of their careers here. As a freshman, you have lots to prove. With that comes the fear of messing up in the games. So it’s important for younger guys to be confident in their play because it shows in the game.”

Despite their undefeated 3-0-2 record, the team expressed frustration that they weren’t able to convert their two ties into wins.
Looking forward they will want to avoid any close games by replicating the explosive scoring burst from their three wins.

The Little Giants have a break this weekend, but will be back in action at Hanover College on Monday, September 18, where they will look to continue their impressive run of form