The Lawrence men’s soccer team put forth their best effort of the season this past Friday against a strong St. Norbert College team. Norbert had yet to lose a game in the conference this season, coming to Lawrence with a 6-0-0 record. This rivalry on the soccer field has been building for some time, the two teams viciously battling every time they play. This time was no different.St. Norbert scored first in the early part of the game off of a set piece after a Lawrence foul. Lawrence rebounded, playing the rest of the first half strong, matching Norbert shot for shot as play continued. Early in the second half, a questionable foul led to a penalty kick for St. Norbert, and they built their lead to 2-0.
The Lawrence men refused to give in as they pounded the ball at the St. Norbert goalie in an effort to score. They dominated the second half, taking nine shots and five corner kicks.
Finally, with just over 10 minutes left, a nice series of passes from freshman Nicholas Walker and senior Ryan Pikna led to freshman Vince Butitta scoring the first goal of the game for Lawrence. Lawrence kept attacking, creating chances up the sidelines and inside the box. Unfortunately, the game stayed at 2-1, though the Lawrence men gave it all they had.
This was a game the Vikings wanted, and it showed. They outplayed the undefeated Green Knights team and kept their game mature and classy throughout. On the other hand, the Green Knights had a player red-carded for an intentional foul on junior defender Chris Carlson.
The Lawrence men’s soccer team showed that not only do they belong among the conference’s elite teams, they can be the better team, on and off the field.
The result was not what the team wanted against St. Norbert, but their effort and their maturity should leave them well prepared for the conference tournament to come. The men sit now at 3-3-1, still with 10 points and still good for fifth place.
Carroll defeated Ripon 6-0, so Lawrence needs to win against Grinnell and Knox to advance. They play both teams next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at Alex gym. Everyone should get out and support them as they show all the spectators what it really means to be a Lawrentian.