Sports Shorts

Men’s soccer claims a conference birth despite going 1-1The men’s soccer team secured a berth in the end-of-season conference tournament, though they had some help from another game. A lackadaisical performance against bottom feeders Illinois College led to a stunning 2-1 defeat on Tuesday, mounting the pressure on the team to beat Monmouth the next day.

Arguably playing their best soccer of the year, the men eased the humiliation of the previous day and confidently won 3-0.

The bus ride back was spent figuring out what went wrong in the first game and discussing the other teams that had a chance for spots in the tournament, until coach Blake Johnson sent the team into delirium when he mentioned in passing that Ripon had defeated Grinnell. That automatically provided the men’s team with their first berth in the tournament since the current format was implemented in the early 1990s.

They still have some work to do, however, as the goal is to beat Beloit in the final regular season game, thus giving LU second place overall and the chance to take revenge on Lake Forest for a defeat earlier in the season.

Women’s soccer finishes the season on the road

Having already lost the opportunity to advance to the conference tournament, the women’s soccer team took it upon themselves to prove to the rest of the conference that while they may have disappointed this year, they will challenge for the conference title in the near future.

The first game, against Illinois College, featured a strong attack by the Lady Vikings, but at halftime there was only one goal to show for it, courtesy of leading scorer Emily Buzicky.

They were stunned in the second half when Illinois equalized on a rare counterattack opportunity. The women did not give up, however, and with time running out, senior Laura Gray won the game for the Vikings with her first and only goal of her collegiate career.

The second game against Monmouth was a more evenly matched affair though Monmouth scored the first goal in the 64th minute to put the pressure on the Vikings. Once again waiting for time to dwindle down, freshman Melinda Luber scored an unassisted goal in the 89th minute to send the game into overtime. The teams were deadlocked in overtime, however, and the final score for the women this season was a 1-1 draw.

For seniors Larissa Ford, Katey Hoyme, and Laura Gray, it was perhaps a disappointing season, but the final weekend results gave them a fitting end to their successful college careers.