INDIANOLA, Iowa – Men’s soccer lost their sixth one-goal match of the season Saturday, falling 1-0 to No. 6 Loras College.
Loras’ Mike Pizzello headed in the only goal of the match in the 52nd minute on a throw in from Tom Fluegel.
Simpson (10-7, 1-3 IIAC) played strong defense all afternoon, only committing one major lapse while having to deal with pressure from a Loras (11-1-1, 4-0-0) team that put up 17 shots and 11 shots on goal.
The Storm’s chances on the other hand were few and far between, as they only manufactured five shots, three on goal.
“It was interesting game,” said head coach Rick Isaacson. “They played a very direct and vertical style so they didn’t link up on a lot of passes. It’s disheartening that we lost on a long throw-in…but it’s no surprise when you give them that many opportunities that they were able to poke one in.”
Junior Zach McEntee continued his strong season in goal, making 10 saves to keep the Storm in reach all afternoon.
This loss continues a stretch in which Simpson has only scored three goals since their eight goal breakout performance against Buena Vista on Oct. 1.
Despite the tough loss, and their third loss in four conference games, the Storm will try to keep their season in perspective understanding that an IIAC tournament appearance is well within reach.
“Three of our first four matches in conference play have come against teams that have been in the national rankings this year,” said Isaacson. “We have to keep that in perspective…Now we’ve got a part of our conference schedule where we should start to do a little bit better and maybe find ways to get results.”
The Storm are still in position to repeat a 4-3 conference record, a record they put up last season while also losing to the likes of Luther, Wartburg, and Loras.
Simpson will have to win out against Coe, Central and Dubuque, all of which are under .500 for the season. This string begins this Saturday as they head to Cedar Rapids to take on the Kohawks at 3 p.m.
“The goals shift a little bit,” said a reflective Isaacson. “We know we aren’t going to win a regular season championship so we try to win our and generate some momentum heading into the conference tournament while trying to get the highest seed possible. 4-3 is now our goal and hopefully we can host a first round game.”