Storm soccer looks forward to a strong finish in the IIAC tournament

Storm soccer looks forward to a strong finish in the IIAC tournament

by Ben RobisonStaff Writer

With a 5-8-2 record (3-4 in Iowa Conference play), shutouts against two ranked opponents-both in overtime, and Iowa Conference wins over Buena Vista, Luther and Cornell, the Simpson men’s soccer team is poised on the brink of moving into the Iowa Conference tournament.

“It’s been a pretty good season thus far, and we’ve had some setbacks,” Head Coach Mike Wilson said. “Our best soccer lies in front of us.”

The Storm are anchored by junior goalkeeper Josh Youngman. Youngman was named Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 28. Youngman compiled 10 saves in 200 minutes of play. During that time, the Storm shut out both Buena Vista and Gustavus Adolphus.

“Josh has really matured as a player and as an individual,” Wilson said. “We’ve got three good keepers, and the competition for the job has really brought out the best in Josh.”

Junior midfielder Corey Miller, who also serves as a captain for the Storm, was featured on the conference’s new YouTube channel. The four-and-a-half-minute video features Miller in a 2008 Iowa Conference Student-Athlete Spotlight.’

“It was pretty cool to be asked to do that,” Miller said.

The Storm, who have played a notoriously tough schedule, have had a couple of big successes. Simpson’s biggest victory came in a 1-0 win over Luther, where the Storm played ten men, a player down, for 70 minutes of the game.

“The Luther win was huge,” Wilson said.

Senior defender Evan Johnson agreed.

“That win proved that we can fight,” Johnson said. “Luther has knocked us out of the conference tournament the last couple of years, so it was a big win.”

Although the wear and tear of the season has caught up with his squad, Wilson is pleased with the makeup of his team.

“The leadership has been a drastic improvement over the last couple of years,” Wilson said. “Attitude reflects leadership, and right now the attitude is good.”

Wilson also stated that consistency will be a key factor in the rest of the season.

“We tend to play up, which isn’t bad because we are a young team,” Wilson said. “We need to learn to play that way every game.”

Miller was also impressed with the team and its direction.

“We’ve showed up and played at every game.” Miller said. “The ball just hasn’t bounced our way sometimes.”

The Storm need one more win to secure a bid in the Iowa Conference tournament, and have one final conference game to play when Simpson hosts the University of Dubuque on Nov. 1. A win would give the Storm three points in the Iowa Conference’s points system, enough to earn an automatic berth in the tournament.

“We’re still in the hunt for the Conference tournament,” Johnson said. “The Dubuque game could be the determining factor, but we’re still in the hunt.”

Miller was confident in his team’s abilities.

“There is not a team in the conference that we can’t beat as long as we show up to play,” Miller said.