Men’s soccer bounces back vs. Monmouth

The Lawrence University men’s soccer team, bouncing back after last week’s 1-0 Conference loss to first-ranked Knox College, defeated Monmouth College (1-8-1, 0-3-0 MWC) 4-1 on Viking home turf Saturday, Sept. 28. The victory brought LU’s record to (4-4-1, 2-1-0 MWC).

“Monmouth is usually one of the top teams in the conference, but this year they’re not as strong,” commented junior Erik Soderlund. “They’re a good team but we just took control of the game and dominated them in scoring from beginning to finish.” Freshman Michael Deremo led the team with two first-half goals and an assist, demonstrating the strong potential of Lawrence’s young team.

Action around the goal was kept to a minimum near the beginning of the game. Deremo attempted a shot less than 15 minutes into the first period, but was blocked. Monmouth fired just past the 19-minute mark, but freshman goaltender Joe Krivit made a save to keep the score at 0-0. The tempo picked up after Deremo’s first successful goal at 28:06, off an assist by fellow freshman Jack Blodgett. Blodgett and Deremo each attempted another shot before Monmouth retaliated with a wide attempt in the 38th minute of play and a header saved by Krivit a minute later. Immediately after, Deremo scored his second goal, which Soderlund called “incredible.” Off an assist credited to Krivit, Deremo “destroyed their whole team single-handedly,” according to Soderlund. “He juggled the ball over two guys and then spun away from three more and right past their goalie.” One more save by Krivit and a shot by senior Dan O’Mahoney rounded out the action of the first period, leaving the score 2-0 in Lawrence’s favor at halftime.

The second half was underway with a wide shot by each team early on and two nice saves by Krivit, which kept Monmouth off the scoreboard. Less than 12 minutes into the period, senior Charlie Mann sent a nice header into the net off an assist by Deremo to bring the score to 3-0. Krivit made another great save at the half’s 26-minute mark, but a header by Monmouth senior Isaac Hernandez slipped past him a few minutes later as the Scots’ only goal of the game. Lawrence junior Stephen Salanky scored a penalty kick goal for the Vikings ten minutes before the game’s conclusion, to bring the final score to 4-1.

Despite numerous injuries on the roster, the Vikings are optimistic about the remaining upperclassman leadership, as well as the strong freshmen presence on the team. “We’ve been starting and playing our freshmen a lot, and everyone coming off the bench has been contributing well, too,” said Soderlund. “We have a strong team. We just need to concentrate and not make as many mistakes. As long as we stick to our game plan, we have the ability to beat any team in this conference.”

The Vikings will face Carroll College (6-3-1, 2-0-0 MWC) on Saturday, Oct. 5, at home. A highly-ranked team in the Midwest Conference, Carroll will pose an important challenge for Lawrence.