Last week, the Lawrence University men’s soccer team suffered in dismal weather. The Vikings fell in a close game to Ripon College, and the opportunity to bounce back in a nonconference game against Edgewood College was postponed due to weather conditions.
On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Vikings travelled to Ripon to take on the Red Hawks in a cold, constant rain. The teams were evenly matched and fought fiercely throughout the game. Ripon junior Austin Van Treeck aimed for the goal within the first minutes of competition, but missed wide on his first shot and was shut down by Lawrence senior Kevin Aslett with a great save on his second a minute later. The Vikings soon retaliated with two shots of their own, delivered by sophomore Darry Israel and junior Cameron Pieper, but neither was successful in finding the net. Ripon sophomore James Niescier fired unsuccessfully toward the goal in the 17th minute, the last Red Hawk attempt of the first period. Israel and Pieper each supplied another shot before the half, but Ripon junior Daniel Mikesell saved both to keep the score at 0-0.
The close rivalry continued into the second period. Viking defense prevented the Red Hawks from targeting the goal until well into the 59th minute of play, when senior Nick Zupan shot and missed wide.
Lawrence junior Dan O’Mahoney struck back a few minutes later with a high shot of his own, but Ripon was persistent the rest of the half with overshots by junior Matthew Lange and senior Marco Rhein, and a hopeful shot by junior Taylor Smith that Aslett saved at 71:47. LU senior David Caprile was blocked in his attempt on the goal at 76:29, and Ripon’s Mikesell saved Pieper’s last shot three minutes before the end of the period.
The rain and the pressure were pounding the backs of the Vikings as they entered overtime. Pieper brought two more shots to Ripon’s front door, but neither made its way in. Aslett saved another attempt on the Viking goal by Zupan at 97:17, but with three seconds left in the game disaster struck in the form of a game-winning header by Smith off an assist credited to freshman Calvin Manuel and senior Alvaro Calle. Smith’s first goal of the season brought the final score to 1-0, a victory for the Red Hawks.
Lawrence, 6-6-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the Midwest Conference after the loss to Ripon, took on the Titans (5-3-3) of UW-Oshkosh on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and will play back-to-back MWC games at Grinnell and Cornell this weekend.