It was a busy weekend for the Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams as each team played on both Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. The opponents for Saturday’s matchups were the Knox Prairie Fire men’s and women’s teams while Sunday’s foes were the Blueboys and Lady Blues, hailing from Illinois College.
The action began Saturday afternoon with the men facing Knox (5-3-0). This was the first conference game for either team. The Vikings got off to a strong start striking first on a header by sophomore Taylor Reifert in the sixth minute after a nice pass from senior Max Loebel. Knox was quick to respond knotting up the game in the 17th minute. The game remained tied well into the second half with each side playing strong soccer. In the 73rd minute Knox scored giving the Prairie Fire the lead. The Vikings fought hard and Reifert had a couple close chances within the last few minutes of the game, but ultimately fell to Knox 2-1.
The afternoon of soccer continued as the women’s team also took on Knox (8-0-1). This again was the first conference match up for either side. The Lady Vikes headed into this game knowing that it would be an uphill battle as they took the field with only 10 players instead of the usual 11 due to injuries. It did not take long for the Prairie Fire to build up a large lead on the Lady Vikes as Knox scored in the ninth, 11th, 13th, 15th, and 28th minutes. Knox added to their 5-0 lead in the second half by striking again in the 61st, 67th, and 80th minutes. This was too much for the Lady Vikes as they lost 8-0. Despite the score, junior Kori Looker put on a strong performance in goalkeeping, with 20 saves.
Both teams returned to action on Sunday beginning with the men taking on Illinois College (1-4-2, 0-1-0 MWC). This game belonged to the Vikings. The scoring began in the 20th minute with junior Robert Desotelle assisted by Reifert and senior Chris Kiehl. Senior Keanan Wilson made the score 2-0 Vikings in the 40th minute by finding the back of the net off of a great centering pass from Desotelle.
The second half followed a very similar story with senior Jack Boldgett scoring in the 69th minute with assists from senior Mike Demero and junior Lewis Berger giving the Vikings a 3-0 advantage. The Vikings added more cushion to their lead going up 4-0 in the 75th minute off of a goal by Berger. Illinois College avoided being shut out by scoring in the 88th minute, but the Vikings took home the victory 4-1 improving their record to (3-5-0, 1-1-0 MWC).
Later in the afternoon the women also faced Illinois College (4-3-0, 1-1-0 MWC). Once again the Lady Vikes took the field shorthanded. Shortly after the game began play was suspended due to lightning in the area. After about an hour of delay, play resumed at the Banta Bowl. The Lady Blues broke the 0-0 tie in the 21st minute. They added to their lead with a goal in the 28th minute and two goals within 40 seconds in the 48th minute of play. The Lady Vikes were unable to get on the board falling by a final score of 4-0.
Going forward, the Lady Vikes (1-7-0, 0-2-0 MWC) are looking forward to playing back at full strength as injured team members heal. They are back in action on Oct. 1 as they take on Lake Forest. The men will look to improve their conference standing when they travel to St. Norbert’s on Sept. 28.