Men’s Soccer team fails to qualify for MWC

Tariq Engineer

Identical 3-2 defeats for the Vikings last weekend put paid to any lingering hopes of Lawrence making the MWC tournament to be held on the 8th and 9th of November. The team needed to win their games against Monmouth and Illinois College at home to keep alive their slight mathematical chance of making the conference tournament. Ironically, the hitherto unproductive offense responded to the pressure by producing two goals in each game, but it was the defense which struggled, conceding a total of six goals over the weekend.The game against Monmouth was decided in time added on. Adam Minor continued to impress in his converted forward role. The No. 19 answered Monmouth’s early seventh minute goal with a 14th minute equalizer on an assist from Matt Wolin. Minor then went on to add his sixth goal of the season in the 33rd minute to give LU the lead. Miner was set up by Nick Hoyer and he made no mistake as he buried the ball past Monmouth goal keeper Matt Hoag.

The Vikings went into the interval with their 2-1 lead intact but the lead was to be short lived once the second half began. Monmouth’s Dave Rupp scored to even the game at 2-2 just 11 minutes after the restart. The teams then endured a frantic last 25 minutes during which both sides had chances to put their noses in front. The full time whistle eventually blew with the score still tied at 2-2 and the game went into overtime.

It was in overtime that Monmouth’s Mark Allen won the game when he scored in the 96th minute, and in doing so put paid to Lawrence’s fading hopes of making Conference.

The Viking’s loss Saturday meant Sunday’s game against Illinois College was played purely for pride. Once again LU fell behind early, conceding an 18th minute goal Drew Leonard. Once again LU fought their way back into the game with Cris Silvati leveling the scores from the penalty spot. The Viking’s joy was short-lived, however, as Leonard struck with his second of the game three minutes later to put Illinois back in front. The half ended with Illinois up 2-1.

Nick Adams added a third for IC in the second half, giving them a 3-1 lead. Adam Minor scored again to pull one back for LU in the dying minutes but once more it was a case of too little, too late.

Brian Payne, who sat out the first game and played only 15 minutes in the second game thanks to a sprained ankle, had this to say about the team’s weekend performance: “We played terribly, just terribly.” Team captain Mark Wendling added “We, the team, are disappointed with the way things ended this season. However, we are working on our problems and hopefully things will be better next year.

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