The men’s soccer team are on a four-game win-streak after a conference win over Nebraska Wesleyan University this past Saturday, Sept. 29. The 2-1 victory is giving the team a great start into conference play and rankings.
“It’s clutch time in the season. We have a lot of big games coming forward,” said head coach Dan Rothert. “This is, certainly a confidence to come from behind,” referring to last year when the team had to battle back its spot in playoffs after a conference loss.
Last Saturday’s conference game put the team on edge because Nebraska Wesleyan scored the first goal in the 38th minute by David Zink. The duhawks battled back through the second half and was able to find the net in the 70th minute.
Sophomore midfielder Manny Lopez got the team on the board after getting a fast break and a one on one with Nebraska Wesleyan’s goalkeeper. The team was able to take that momentum and run with it scoring another goal in the 72nd minute.
Senior defender Ryan Pacholski scored the game-winning goal assisted by junior midfielder Miles McDonnell and first-year midfielder Tiernan Talbot. It started with a free kick by Talbot who connected with McDonnell inside the penalty area. McDonnell’s header flew outside the box but before it could touch the ground, Pacholski struck and sent the ball into the opposing team’s net.
The two goals in less than two minutes left the fans in an uproar. For the last 15 minutes of the match, Nebraska Wesleyan attempted to make a comeback by moving another man up. Hence, Loras backed up their defense and with an extra man. This defensive plan eventually did its job and the Duhawks won 2-1.
“We actually had a sub on the line for Berardi to pull a sweeper and then we scored a goal and that changed our chain of thought,” said Rothert.
Prior to this excited win, the Duhawks also took down Iowa Wesleyan last week Wednesday with a 7-0 victory. This was the team’s fifth shutout of the season. Rothert gave a lot of credit to junior Jesse Buffington who had some big shoes to fill since last year’s the goalkeeper Jacob Peterson had graduated.
The team has a busy schedule this upcoming week with a conference game against Luther College which will be hosted here in Dubuque at the Rock Bowl at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 6. After the weekend, the team takes on University of Wisconsin Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin at 7 p.m, on Tuesday, Oct.9.