Women’s soccer gains momentum, men continue slump

On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Lawrence University men’s and women’s soccer teams traveled to Waukesha for back-to-back games against Carroll University, the first conference matches of the 2014 season.

The Carroll men’s team (3-4-1, 0-1 MWC) are currently placed third in the conference after the league opener. The Pioneers proved a difficult opponent for the Vikings, who are currently ranked 11th (0-5-1, 0-1 MWC).

Carroll solidly outshot the Vikings in the first half 13-1. One such shot found its way into the Lawrence net at 22:19, scored by Carroll sophomore Caden Pruitt off an assist by fellow sophomore Tyler Coenen. Just over seven minutes into the second half, Pruitt assisted Coenen in sending the Pioneers’ second goal, and a minute and a half later Coenen scored again to pull ahead 3-0. The Vikings were unable to retaliate the rest of the game, though they reduced the shot ratio to 4-2 in Carroll’s favor. Sophomore Joe Krivit made 9 saves to the Pioneers’ 3.

“They were a good team and came out a lot more aggressive then we did. They dominated the middle of the field, creating a lot of offensive chances,” said senior Erik Soderlund. “We definitely need to play with more confidence and we need to bring an attacking game to our opponents instead of sitting back and letting them dictate the game.”

After the men’s game, the Lawrence women took the field looking to reverse the Vikings’ luck. The women battled hard through 90 minutes of competitive regulation play and two grueling overtime periods ending in a scoreless tie.

As in the previous game, Carroll outshot Lawrence in the first period, this time just 2-0. The Vikings fired two shots in the second period to Carroll’s five, but none found their way into the goal.

“The first half, Carroll was dominating. They were possessing the ball more,” said freshman Eva Tourangeau. “The second half, though, it totally flipped and we had more control of the game. Carroll got intimidated and frustrated by our change in pace and we started getting more opportunities.”

In the first overtime, Lawrence again had two attempts and held the Pioneers to none, but in the second overtime, the tables turned and Carroll outshot the Vikings 2-0. Again, the scoreboard remained blank and the game concluded in a 0-0 tie. Senior goalkeeper Dani Glass made seven saves to Carroll’s 3. This tie placed the Lawrence women sixth in the conference with a record of 2-4-1 (0-0-1 MWC) to Carroll’s seventh-place 1-4-1 record (0-0-1 MWC).

“It was really important to our team to play as hard as we can against this team,” said junior Perrin Tourangeau. The Pioneers beat the Vikings in Midwest Conference competitions seven years in a row, but last year that changed when Lawrence shut them out 3-0. “The difference between the two teams last weekend was that we played with a lot of heart. We had some motivation to continue last year’s success. There was a lot of emotion in the game for us.”

Despite the scoreless results, the game felt like a sort of victory for the team. “We overcame a lot, they played really rough, we stayed in control of ourselves and in control of our game,” said Perrin. “It felt like an accomplishment.”

The women’s soccer team will host Lake Forest (8-0, 1-0 MWC) on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m. at Whiting Field West. The men’s team is looking at a busier week with games on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Wisconsin Lutheran (5-4), on Saturday, Sept. 27, at home against Lake Forest (2-5, 1-0 MWC) and on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Ripon (2-6-1, 0-2 MWC).