The Ripon Red Hawks soared passed the Lawrence Vikings this week with a 2-0 victory in their MWC game. It was a cold Wednesday afternoon game, 45 degrees and windy in front of 40 faithful fans. Lawrence, on a five-game-long losing streak, prepared to face an opponent with a slightly worse record in conference but better overall record. Many Lawrence players were confident before the game and very optimistic for a win.
It was evident the Vikings were tired of the results from the past couple games and looked very strong in the opening minutes of this one. There were hard fought battles in every area of the field. In the 22nd minute, Lawrence had a slight lapse in structure on the defensive end, allowing the Red Hawks to fly by and net the first goal of the game through freshman forward Brandi Peltier on a breakaway. The Vikings had faced a lot of adversity similar to this in past games, and proved to be very discouraged by early goals, but in this game it didn’t seem to faze them. They kept on fighting hard through the half, trying to create some sort of opportunity to tie it up. Unfortunately another setback came in the 42nd minute through Ripon sophomore midfielder Kali Doerr, who was left all alone to squeeze in the second goal of the game on another breakaway.
In the second half Lawrence faced an uphill battle not unfamiliar to them, but they stuck with it and fought fire with fire. Instead of sitting back and letting their opponents dominate, the Vikings went on the offense. Freshman defender Genna Matt played a huge role as she shadowed Ripon’s and one of the conference’s best players, Peltier. A frustrated Ripon coach substituted the star player further enabling Lawrence to push forward. Despite valiant efforts, the Vikings were still shut out 2-0. Lawrence suffered their sixth straight loss; however, the difference in effort this game was remarkable compared to the past five.
“I think everybody was playing for the seniors in the second half. This was a game we really wanted to win in order to advance to the MWC tourney. Now we pretty much have to win the rest of our games in order to advance to playoffs. Not to say we can’t, but we have to work a lot harder in order to do so,” commented sophomore defender Aubrey Lawlor on her team’s play in the second.
Lawrence was also scheduled to play Edgewood College October 14, but that game was postponed due to poor weather conditions.
The Vikings next game will be October 20, at Grinnell 5-1 (5-6-1). Grinnell has been very successful in conference play this year, but if Lawrence continues improving, they have a strong chance against any opponent.