Last year the Lawrence University men’s soccer team accomplished something done only twice in our school’s history: They clawed their way to the Midwest Conference title game, joining the likes of a dominating 1985 championship team and a 1989 squad that came oh-so-close. In recent years, Lawrence has enjoyed a considerable resurgence under head coach Blake Johnson, winner of the 2003 and 2005 MWC coach of the year honors. Johnson will, once again, be at the helm of a squad with high expectations, with many of the championship-bound team returning and the addition of a hugely talented freshman class. Rick Moore is just one name that has shown exceptional prowess early, leading the Vikings in scoring, and given Lawrence a fresh face in the always-parched role of play-maker so far. Sunday the Vikings hosted Lake Forest and continued the agonizing trend of grappling with strong regional and nationally ranked teams – one that will continue throughout this season. The first half produced two goose eggs, without either team finding the net. Yet, the pace that both teams maintained straight out of the gate was gripping. Freshman goalkeeper Steve Schnorr made four clutch saves and Lawrence midfielders showed incredible efficiency in ball control. When the whistle for the second half sounded the Vikings had changed something, or simply worn down their opponents. Suddenly shots were opening up, sophomore midfielder Tristan Lipe continued to find Rick Moore, and after only 33 seconds they hooked up for the first time. In minute 60 Moore added one more – no pun intended – this time unassisted. With an obvious knack for creating possibilities, Rick cracked another in for the hat trick on a beauty from Tristan Lipe. Minute 83 yielded another Viking goal, this time just icing on the cake from junior Ryan Pikna off a delivery from – you guessed it – Rick Moore. The assist gave Rick seven points – two for goals, one for assists – on the game, a Viking season high. The performance, dominating on many levels, can’t help but produce a plausible successful future and a very giddy fan base. The Vikings, losers of four of their last six, venture to Carroll College on Oct. 3 where they hope to ride their gold mine of younger talent to a second straight victory.