The Lawrence University women’s soccer team had an impressive showing last weekend in a pair of very important games for the Vikings. They won one game and drew another to stay within striking distance of first place. As the end of the season nears, the Vikings are not only looking to get into the conference tournament, but they also still have a chance at obtaining the top seed and hosting the tournament. In order to do so, Lawrence would have to win their final conference game against Ripon and hope that Carroll and St. Norbert finish their schedules with losses. The Vikings faced Monmouth and Illinois College last weekend, and both games were fought hard. In the opener against Monmouth (7-5-3, 3-2-1 MWC), senior Celesta Kirk scored just five minutes into the game. However, the Vikings offense stagnated and they were unable to put another one in the back of the net despite getting six more shots on goal. Monmouth countered Kirk’s goal in the 20th minute with a goal by Becca Baur. That would end the scoring for the remainder of regulation and both overtime periods, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The second game of the weekend saw the Vikings face off against Illinois College (2-11-2, 0-6-1 MWC). Lawrence obtained an early one-goal lead again, but this time, the Vikings were able to build on their lead. Junior Mallory Koula scored first for the Vikings, with senior Annie Kaiser picking up the assist. Koula then added to her team-leading goal total in the second half. Kaiser once again assisted on what was Koula’s 10th goal of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Cassie Burke had an easy day in goal, picking up her fourth shutout of the season. Burke only had to make two saves in the game The Vikings (6-7-1, 5-2-1 MWC) currently stand in third place in the conference. St. Norbert (7-7-1, 6-2-0 MWC), whom the Vikings have already beaten this year, and Carroll (10-4, 6-1 MWC) are ahead of them in the standings. Currently, Lake Forest holds the final spot in the conference tournament. Lawrence hosts UW-Oshkosh in a non-conference showdown on Oct. 24, then travels to MSOE for another non-conference game on Oct. 27. The Vikings’ all-important final conference game will take place against Ripon on the road Oct. 30. The Midwest Conference Tournament, hosted by the regular season champion, will take place Nov. 5 and 6.