Team secures conference tournament spot


by Madison Boswell

The Simpson men’s soccer team has met its goal and earned a spot in the conference tournament after this week’s win against Buena Vista.

Simpson managed a 2-1 win against Buena Vista in overtime on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and will now compete in the conference tournament in late October.

Junior Jeremy Reinert secured the win for the Storm with a goal 45 seconds into overtime, scoring his third game-winning goal of the season.

“Wednesday’s game solidifies us a spot in the conference tournament, which is the overarching goal of this season,” assistant coach Jim Frizzell said. “However, if we steal another game or point in conference, we are looking at hosting the first tournament game, which hasn’t happened for over five years now.”

The team has identified those areas that need improvement and will be addressing them in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

“This week’s practice is primarily being focused on polishing up all aspects of our game,” freshman Mitchell White said. “Most notably, organization in the defense, possession in the midfield and finishing from the forwards.”

The men also wore pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness month. In an effort to support the cause, the jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The game on Saturday, Oct. 8 against Wartburg was also close as Simpson scored two goals in the last 20 minutes of play, but fell just short of a win with a final score of 3-2. Currently the match against Wartburg is the Storm’s only loss in the conference.

“Saturday’s game proved that we are never out of a game and our team will never give up on each other,” White said. “Having gone down 3-0 and fighting back to a close 3-2 loss spoke volumes about our ‘never say die’ attitude.”

Team members think many different factors contributed to the loss.

“Saturday’s loss to Wartburg was simply the result of 20-25 minutes of lapse of focus,” White said. “We played most of the game very technical, aside from the 20 or so minutes in which we conceded three goals.”

Reinert agreed with White’s assessment of the loss.

“Contributing to our loss on Saturday was a mental lapse of about 20 minutes where Wartburg exposed us,” Reinert said. “Putting a 90 minute match together is important in this point of our season with just conference games remaining.”

Even after the loss to Wartburg, both coaches and players are hopeful about the upcoming final conference games.

“We aren’t satisfied with the result from Saturday, but there are some positives to take from the game that we’ll look to build on,” head coach Rick Isaacson said. “We’ll spend a lot of time working on combination play and try to improve our possession game. When we communicate, the product is pretty good. When we stop communication with each other, we tend to struggle.”

Having met its goals for the season, the team is now working to exceed them and remains confident.

“We are now 7-7-1 overall with three regular season games left,” junior Mark Lahart said. “We have given ourselves a chance to be in every game this year.”

The Storm will play in the first round of the conference tournament on Oct. 29.