Room for improvement for men’s soccer

Jon Mays

The Lawrence University Men’s soccer team split a pair of games last weekend against Finlandia University and Edgewood College. The team then suffered another defeat against Ripon College Wednesday evening.
The results of the week bring the team’s record to 2-4-2 (0-1-1 MWC). The Vikings got off to a great start to the weekend by beating Finlandia 4-1. Goals were scored by juniors Jared Padway, Bennett Pang, and Paul Senner, as well as freshman Simon Newsom.
Newsom’s goal was the first of his collegiate career. He said of the feeling he had after scoring the goal, “It didn’t really have time to sink in, but it was definitely exciting, I’m just glad that I could help the team get a victory.”
Pang, Senner and Newsom also had assists in the game. Keeper Andrew Finley made two saves for the victory. Junior Captain Colin Vize was proud of his team despite being limited in action by a sprained ankle: “I’m glad that the guys stepped it up and came up with this win. It’s tough to watch from the sidelines, but my teammates got us a victory.”
The Vikings offense, however, stumbled in their next game of the weekend, and they were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. Edgewood College’s keeper Kyle Koenig only had to make two saves to earn the shutout.
Junior midfielder Jared Padway was disappointed that the Vikings couldn’t muster any more offense in the defeat, saying, “We had some opportunities, we just didn’t convert.
We need to do a better job of going on the attack and finding the open man.” The team is relatively young and starts three freshmen — compared to only two seniors — so maturity and growth should be a key component to their success the rest of the season.
After the long weekend away from campus, the Vikings had a few days off before taking the field against in-conference rival, Ripon. Both teams battled hard and it had the feel of a postseason battle.
It was a physical game and many Vikings came away from the game a bit beat up. Pang said, “They threw a few elbows and some dangerous slide tackles that the refs must not have seen, but it’s just something you must fight through.”
The Vikings took a quick lead on a goal by Senner, the team’s leading goal scorer. Ripon responded with three goals in the second half, however. Lawrence worked hard and seemed poised for a comeback when Vize put a beautiful header into the back of the net off of sophomore Stephen Exarhos’ corner kick with about 10 minutes left in the game.
The comeback attempt fell short in the end when the Vikings were unable to keep any momentum. The Vikings are back in action this Sunday when they travel to Lake Forest.

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