By Jordan Atkins
The Lawrence University Men’s Soccer team traveled south last Saturday to win its conference matchup 1-0 against the Buccaneers of Beloit College. Junior Viking midfielder Max Loebl scored the game’s only goal in the 25th minute. The goal was unassisted and represented Loebl’s second score of the season. Joe Krivit the Vikings’ junior goalkeeper recorded a shutout to earn his second victory this season.
At the time of Loebl’s goal, Beloit’s defense had only allowed one goal in their previous 324 minutes of gameplay. “It’s no small feat beating them,” said Krivit of a much-improved Beloit team (3-7-1) that has already outpaced its win total from last season. “A conference win and an away win are always big.”
The victory improved Lawrence’s record to 2-9-1 and was the Vikes’ first conference win of the season. The timely victory prevented the team from dropping its first four conference games, which would have put them in a serious hole. “We showed a lot of character and also that we were the better team,” added Krivit. “I’m proud of our guys.”
The Vikings schedule only picks ups from here as they play six games in 18 days to close the regular season, including four of the last five games at home in the Banta Bowl. “We want to play as hard as we can until the very last game of the season,” said junior forward Keanan Wilson. “We’re coming out strong for all 90 minutes.”
Krivit echoed Wilson’s sentiment. “The biggest thing is keeping the intensity up.”
The team hopes to use last weekend’s victory as a sparkplug going forward. To do so the Vikes will have to take advantage of their speed to produce more offense and more victories. Krivit mentioned that a huge focus in practice has been “spending less time on the ball and minimizing our touches.”
Wilson added, “[When] we get the ball, our [heads are] on a swivel.” Limiting time spent dribbling, and passing to teammates within two touches, can make the offense harder to defend and give the Vikes more opportunities on goal. “When we get the ball moving, good things happen,” said Krivit.
Lawrence embarks on a critical three-game home-stand against conference foes starting this Saturday Oct. 17. The always-competitive Vikings will need to perform well in order to stay in the hunt for a place in the Midwest Conference Tournament.