SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — For the second straight year the Loras College men’s soccer team made it back to San Antonio to play in the NCAA Division III Semifinal.
And for the second straight year…the Duhawks leave empty-handed and heartbroken.
One year after losing to Messiah College in the Final Four, the Duhawks headed back to the “Lone Star State” for a chance to win their first ever National Championship. After overcoming a one goal halftime deficit, Loras fell short to an unbeaten Rutgers-Camden team early in overtime on Friday night at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.
The Scarlet Raptors got on the board first when a deflected shot found its way to leading scorer Mike Ryan in the 13th minute. Despite senior Dylan Milkent saving six Rutgers-Camden shots in the first half, the Duhawks headed to the locker room down a goal after forty-five minutes of play.
Loras came out guns blazing in the second half. The men took 13 shots in the second half and had multiple opportunities to score, inlcuding chances from Kevin Cavers, Mitch Burgmeier, Johnny Rummelhart, and Tim van den Bergh. However, the Duhawks would finally get one in the back of the net when Richard Lenke knocked one home after a sliding attempt by Rummelhart knocked the ball away from the Scarlet Raptors and right to Lenke in the 80th minute. The goal was the first ever goal in Duhawk history in four trips to the Final Four.
Five minutes later, Rummelhart would get the ball to the corner and find the wide open Tim van den Bergh in front of the net to give Loras a 2-1 lead with only five minutes remaining in regulation. However, Rutgers-Camden would not go away easily. The Scarlet Raptors would covert on a corner kick after a shot just barely crossed the goal line with 2:30 remaining to extend the game to overtime.
Just one minute into the overtime, Rutgers-Camden would be awarded a free kick near the middle of the field. Right before the kick, a gust of wind blew across Toyota Field. That wind would benefit the Scarlet Raptors as the kick carried in the air and right towards the Loras goal. A scrum of players in front of the net involved Milkent and the ball would bounce right past everyone into the back of the net. Within a matter of seconds, the Scarlet Raptors were celebrating a trip to the National Championship game, while the Duhawks found their season come to an abrupt end.
“There’s not much you can say,” said Loras men’s soccer head coach, Dan Rothert, following the 3-2 overtime lost. “This one is going to hurt…especially for our seniors. Their soccer careers are over…and there is nothing good to say about that.”
With the lost, the Duhawks finish the season with a 19-2-3 record on the year.