LU Soccer Struggles Early, Finds Stride in MWC

Andy York

The Lawrence University Soccer teams have struggles early against non-conference foes, but started off the conference season right with a sweep of Lake Forest College this past weekend. The women’s soccer team started off by losing a pair of games to Minnesota schools. The Vikings lost to St. Benedict 2-0 and St. Olaf 3-0, before facing nationally ranked University of Chicago. The Vikings did not fair any better losing to the Maroons 5-0. LU then returned home to open the Midwest Conference season against Lake Forest

The Foresters were the defending MWC champions, and posed a great threat to the Vikings. Lawrence played superbly in the rain, showing why they were voted the favorite to win the MWC by the coaches in the conference. The lone goal of the game came in the first half as Alyssa Spyksma put in Sara Compas’s corner kick to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. The Vikings were tested many times in the second half by the potent Lake Forest offense, but goalkeeper Katie Wilkin was always on the doorstep for LU. She finished the game with seven saves for her first shutout of the year.

The Vikings avenged their only loss of the season last year to the Foresters, who won 1-0 at home. The women now have a break from play until they host Edgewood College on Tuesday.

The Men’s soccer team has gotten off to a slow start in non-conference play as well. The men barely lost their first two game sin heartbreakers. The Vikings lost to Carleton College 1-0 and Benedictine University 3-2. The Vikings next faced a force in UW-Oshkosh, and came away losing that game 5-0.

The Men opened up conference play against the Foresters as well. The Foresters were last season’s conference champions, but for the second year in a row, it was all LU. Adam Minor got the scoring rolling for the Vikings. He scored thirteen minutes into the game to put LU up 1-0. Elliott Spruell added his third goal of the year early in the second half to put the Vikings up 2-0. Then as time was running down, Minor put in his second goal of the game to put it away. The Vikings defeated Lake Forest 3-0.

For his efforts, Minor was named the MWC offensive player of the week. This was his first multi-goal game for the Vikings. Also for the second week in a row, LU goalkeeper Tom Murphy was named the MWC defensive player of the week. Murphy got his first shutout of the season by stopping thirteen forester shots. Murphy received the award the previous week for stopping fifteen shots against a strong Carleton team.

The men have the weekend off as well. Their next game will be on Wednesday against Milwaukee School of Engineering, in Milwaukee.