Men’s soccer matches Pioneers, outclasses Prairie Fire

Jon Mays

The Lawrence University Men’s Soccer team has their backs against the wall when it comes to making the four-team conference tournament at the end of the season. Currently in seventh place, the Vikings cannot afford to lose another game for the rest of the season. Lawrence stayed in the chase last weekend, earning points against both Grinnell and Knox.
In the first game, the Vikings got off to a quick lead against Grinnell with a goal by junior Jared Padway.
Padway facetiously described his expectations of scoring over the weekend, saying, “of course I expected to score. They don’t call me the ‘header king’ for nothing.”
Unfortunately for the “header king” and the rest of the Vikings, Grinnell was able to counter with a goal to tie the game. Neither team scored in either of the two overtimes, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Despite keeping their playoff hopes alive, the Vikings knew that a win would have been a huge step toward the postseason. According to junior forward Bennett Pang, “It really would have been nice to hold on to the win. It is disappointing to come out of this game with a tie.”
The next day, the Vikings headed back out onto the pitch for the second of two back-to-back games. Lawrence took on last-place Knox College and took a while to feel out the opponent, with neither team scoring in the first 37 minutes. Once the first goal came, however, the onslaught was on.
Freshman Hashim Allah-Morad started the scoring with a Nico Walker-assisted strike in the 38th minute, and junior Paul Senner added a goal just before halftime. Senner, the team’s leading scorer, remarked that it is “nice to be the leading scorer on the team, but I enjoy getting assists even more. Helping others is what I am all about.”
While Senner went on to finish the game without an assist, the Vikings took his remarks to heart with a remarkably balanced attack. The Vikings finished the game with eight assists by seven players – only senior defender Nico Walker notched two – and six goals scored by six different players. Allah-Morad, junior Andy King and freshman Karl Mayer scored their first career goals, while Matthew Horn earned the first assist of his career on a pass to Mayer.
The Vikings now sit at 1-2-3 in Midwest Conference play, for a total of six points. With three conference games to go, the Vikings are three points – one win – behind Ripon and St. Norbert, who are tied for third. A win for Lawrence at Illinois College Saturday would put the Vikings squarely in contention for a spot in the conference tournament, which will be held Nov. 6-7.