The 2012 men’s soccer season concluded last weekend with a bittersweet win for the Vikings. Although Lawrence fell just short of earning a spot in the Midwest Conference tournament, their triumph over third place Beloit College was a fitting high point on which to end the season.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, Lawrence University hosted Beloit (11-4-1, 6-3-1 MWC) at Whiting Field West for the last game of the regular season. A sizable crowd of enthusiastic spectators cheered on the Vikings as they fought their way to victory in sunny, cool weather.
Lawrence outplayed the Buccaneers from the very start, delivering six shots on the goal to Beloit’s three in the first period. Junior Joe Cullen led the charge with a high shot within the first ten minutes of play and another near-miss just before the half. Beloit senior Jackson Wilkins struck back after Cullen’s initial shot, but his attempt was shut down by Lawrence senior Kevin Aslett’s stellar goalkeeping skills. Beloit’s remaining shots were supplied by senior Marc Robinson, who missed the net wide on his first attempt and was denied by Aslett on his second. Lawrence senior Karl Mayer also fired unsuccessfully early on, and the Vikings’ other attempts on the goal, shot by juniors Dan O’Mahoney and Erich Lohrmann and sophomore Stephen Salansky, were effectively saved by Beloit goalkeeper sophomore BJ Kiser.
Going into the second period the Vikings cranked the intensity up a notch, multiplying their aims for the Beloit goal while keeping the Bucs’ attempts low. Wilkins opened the half for Beloit with an early shot that just missed the net, and Lawrence junior Cameron Pieper retaliated with one of his own three minutes later. Cullen and Mayer followed suit soon after, Cullen with two overshots and Mayer with an attack that Kiser saved at 52:06. Robinson targeted the Viking goal unsuccessfully in the 60th minute, and Kiser prevented a shot by LU senior Mason Cannon at the 63 minute mark.
The momentum culminated firmly in the Vikings’ favor as Cullen, assisted by Mayer and sophomore Oliver Newsom, edged past Beloit’s defense at 66:58 to score the game’s first and only goal. To make up for his error, Beloit goalkeeper Kiser saved two more shots, Cullen’s sixth attempt of the game and a header by Lohrmann in the 86th minute of play. Beloit junior Sean Little fired the Bucs’ final shot later on in the half, but was denied by Aslett, whose save secured his fourth shutout of the season.
A final score of 1-0 earned a well-deserved win for the Vikings, bringing their final record to 8-8-1 and 5-4-1 in the Midwest Conference.