The men’s soccer team took on the Aurora Spartans from Aurora, IL, on Sept 1. The Spartans finished on top after a tough battle in overtime, 4-3.
“Aurora kept it even through halftime and gained some confidence,” said Head Coach Daniel Rothert. “They hit some amazing shots, but we set them up by having some momentary lapses.”
Javier Simon, a junior midfielder who transferred this year from UW-Oshkosh, started the season strong by scoring two goals. The first was off a lob in the 48th minute and the other by beating the keeper one-on-one in the 59th minute.
Senior defender Jimmy Ralph earned an assist with sophomore midfielder Miles McDonnell, scoring his first goal for the season in the 71st minute and propelling the Duhawks into overtime.
“We scored three goals. That should be enough to win,” said Rothert. “However, Aurora scored quickly after we did and neutralized the momentum.”
The team bounced back on Saturday with their first win of the season over Wheaton College, ending 2-1.
Focus was ideal for the team, especially since it was a rainy game.
“Playing in the rain and forcing errors is what we do” said Rothert.
Simon kick-started the match by forcing a goal within the first 40 seconds against the Wheaton Thunder, making it his 16th career goal.
“To score a goal in the first 40 seconds gave us some confidence,” said Rothert.
This confidence carried throughout the game as sophomore forward Alex Herrera assisted sophomore midfielder Mark Broderick to score in the 67th minute, adding insurance for the Duhawks. The goal in the second half of the match was enough to keep the Wheaton Thunder out of reach of a possible overtime situation.
Among the notable players was sophomore midfielder Mark Histed, who had a strong weekend defensively. McDonnell was another great asset when it came to defending in the midfield. Senior goalkeeper Jacob Peterson had a strong game tallying six saves to preserve the victory.
Support the Loras College men’s soccer team this weekend as they take on the Carthage Rebels here in the Rock Bowl at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 17.