Lawrence University finished their season this weekend with two Midwest Conference games. The Vikings faced the Buccaneers of Beloit College on Saturday and the Knights of St. Norbert College on Sunday.
After a rough season, The Vikings’ goal was to regain some respectability in the conference, and that they did. Beloit College, posting a clearly better record than Lawrence, arrived at Whiting Field West to play a hungry Vikings team.
The Vikings were very poised and maintained majority possession of the ball throughout the beginning of the first half. Despite the Vikings’ domination, the Buccaneers pressed the Vikings hard and produced some good chances. However, Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week senior Cassie Burke handled the Buccaneers’ efforts with ease, making eight saves throughout the game. Then, in the 26th minute, after a failed attack down the right side; freshman defender Genna Matt switched the play. Feeding sophomore Caroline Borst with a ball in the middle, Borst blasted home a magnificent goal from outside the box to put the Vikings up one-nil. As the Vikings’ confidence grew, so did the Buccaneers’ resolve. Momentum started to shift a little towards the Buccaneers at the end of the half, but the score kept the Vikings on top going into intermission.
The Vikings continued to dominate in the second half creating great opportunities and displaying a strong positional game. The Buccaneers started to show signs of fatigue as Lawrence pressured them, relentlessly. In the 51st minute Matt delivered a ball to sophomore defender Amanda Ollerer, who shook three players before placing a nice ball, high and out of reach for the Buccaneer’s goaltender. Finally, in the 68th minute after Matt’s third assist of the game on a nice thread, freshman defender Patsy Kealey was able to score her first career NCAA goal finishing the Viking’s offensive serge with a 3-0 victory.
The next day, 148 fans at Whiting Field West on Sunday witnessed a nail biter as Lawrence University carried momentum from Saturday’s win into their match against St. Norbert College. St. Norbert, one of the top teams in the conference, was in need of a win in order to clinch a spot in the Midwest Conference tournament action and looked shaky against the strong playing Lawrence team.
The Knights were determined to keep the pressure on Lawrence in the first half, outshooting the Vikings 10-2, but thanks to some spectacular play by Burke, St. Norbert was only able to capitalize on a corner kick in the 35th minute. The Knights were surprised in the second half by an offensively powerful Viking team, who pushed St. Norbert up against the ropes. The Vikings displayed an array of dangerous chances throughout the half and especially in the final 10 minutes of the contest, but St. Norbert was able to hold on for the win.
The Vikings end their season on a high note with two great games adding another win to their final record of 3-7 (4-13).