Russell leads men’s soccer team to 4-0 win in season-opener

Esteban Russell
Esteban Russell

TERRA HAUTE, Ind. – Sophomore Esteban Russell (DeWitt) scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Olivet College men's soccer team to a 4-0 win over Franklin (Ind.) College in its season-opener today in a first round game of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Tournament.

Russell broke through with the first goal just four minutes and 43 seconds into the game. Junior Zach Piotrowski (Jackson/Lumen Christi) sent a diagonal pass over the top of the box, where Russell buried a shot from 20 yards out over the goalkeeper's head and into the goal.

The Comets added another goal in the 30th minute. Sophomore Zach Schulz (Farmington) sent the ball through the 6-yard box. Junior Adam Wright (South End, England/Walled Lake Western) was waiting for the ball, and finished with a shot into the net. The score stayed 2-0 at halftime.

Olivet extended its lead to 3-0 with a goal only two minutes and 25 seconds into the second half. Junior Fred Smyser (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Eastern) slipped the ball past the two center back defenders to Russell's feet, who scored from 22 yards out to near post.

The Comets capped the scoring in the 62nd minute when freshman Cory Werner-Hoskins (Kalamazoo/Mattawan) found the net for his first collegiate goal from 18 yards outs. Russell was credited with the assist.

Olivet dominated the game with 20-10 advantage in shots, including a 14-6 edge in shots-on-goal. Russell led the way with eight shots (six on-goal). Smyser and Wright each had two. Sophomores Alex Lang (West Bloomfield/Detroit Catholic Central) and Matt Van Houten (Northville) combined for the shutout in goal. Lang played the first half, making five saves, while Van Houten played the second half, making one save.

"Getting a win was a fantastic way to start the season," said Olivet Head Coach Chad Wiseman. "I was very pleased with our effort, but there are things we have to work on. It was also nice because a lot of guys saw playing time."

The Comets will stay in Indiana and play Rose-Hulman Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be played on Franklin's artificial turf field.