The Loras College men’s soccer team came to a jolting stop after the championship showdown last Saturday, Nov. 3 here in the Rock Bowl against Luther College. Loras was the number one seed in the American Rivers Conference and was expected to win and carry on to the NCAA national tournament. However, the Luther College Norse was a very strong team as well with a strong defense.
“I thought we had a chance there to win it being up one nothing and then we gave up one, exactly what we didn’t want to do; counter attack,” said head coach Dan Rothert.
After a scoreless first half, the Duhawks were able to claw their way onto the scoreboard by an unsuccessful clear attempt by the Norse after a free kick. Senior forward Javi Simon found the net in the 64th minute.
The Norse did not rest and refuted a strong counter attack that got them on the board about 10 minutes later in the 74th minute. Now the game was 1-1 and another 10 minutes has gone by and almost appeared as if the game was going into overtime.
Until the Norse’s Marcos Vila caught a fast break that was assisted by Benjamin Keller, to the Duhawks side of the field, he was able to dribble around the few defenders into the box and land a shot in the back corner of the goal in the 87th minute. The atmosphere in the stands for the Luther fans was ecstatic, while there was a chilling silence on the Duhawks side.
The Duhawks had just over three minutes if they wanted to stay in the game and have a chance to move on. The counter attack for Loras was strong, but up against the Luther defense, the offensive opportunities were limited. Eventually the time ran out with a final score of 1-2.
“I’m disappointed for these guys,” said Rothert. “I’m disappointed for the seniors. We have work to do. We have to work to get back to where Loras soccer is supposed to be.”
Prior to the game on Saturday, the Duhawks swept the Central College Dutch 3-0 in the semi-final in the American Rivers Conference tournament. The first goal was struck by sophomore forward Tigrio Huerta from the 30 in the 37th minute.
The team carried that momentum and struck again with a deflection off a defender into their own goal in the 39th minute. Finally in the second half, Simon sent a header into the goal which was assisted by first-year midfielder Tiernan Talbot.