Soccer teams finish strong

Soccer teams finish strong

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams had big victories in the first round of the IIAC tournament. The men defeated Luther in a penalty kick shootout, while the women took a 1-0 victory over Wartburg.

The women knocked off Luther 1-0 in the second round of the tournament before falling to University of Dubuque 1-0 in the conference championship. The men lost their second round game 6-0 to Loras, the number one team in the region and the third-ranked team in the nation.

Men’s Coach Mike Wilson talked about his team’s victory over Luther in the first round of the conference tournament, and some of the positive things they could take from the victory.

“It just showed great character for us to be able to stay focused and stay disciplined,” Wilson said. “I really think our upperclassmen showed through.”

Heading into the second round game against Loras, senior goalkeeper Jeremy Ward talked about his outlook for the match up against their highly ranked opponent.

“It’s the number one team in the region and number three team in the nation,” Ward said. “So it will be good competition for us and another opportunity to shake things up. We have nothing to lose. I don’t think there’s any doubt in anybody’s mind that we can play with them, but it will obviously be a challenge.”

Senior defender Heather Akes talked about the atmosphere of the women’s first round game against Wartburg and how the team was able to make a play when they needed to.

“It was an intense game,” Akes said. “We probably didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t play very good. But when it came down to it we put the ball into the net and they didn’t. It was a huge upset so it was nice.”

Wilson talked about having an opportunity to play Loras again after losing to the Duhawks 3-1 in Indianola the week before the conference tournament. Before their second round loss to Loras, Wilson said the Storm’s second chance against the Duhawks would be a tremendous opportunity.

“We’re really excited to get another shot,” Wilson said. “Who gets another shot at the number one team in the region twice in one week?”

Akes said the team had a very good shot at beating Luther in the semifinal of the women’s tournament. Akes also talked about the team’s chemistry.

“We never get worked up about things,” Akes said. “We always stay composed and just make things work.”

Senior defender Erin Vinnedge said the defense’s intensity is something that would help them in the semifinals and there are some things the team can work on.

“I think our ability to maintain a level of intensity and defensive tenacity to make sure the ball stays out of the net is a positive,” Vinnedge said. “But hopefully we can improve on our offensive opportunities.”

Wilson talked about the challenge of playing such a highly-ranked team and about what his team needed to do heading into the game against the Duhawks.

“One goal might not do it against a team of Loras’ caliber,” Wilson said. “So I’m looking to finish our chances, and the biggest thing is to limit theirs.”

The men finished their season with an overall record of 6-9-4, and an IIAC record of 3-4-1, while the women’s team finished up the year with a record of 11-8 overall and 5-3 in the IIAC.