Upon the conclusion of the regular season, the Loras men were awarded multiple individual accolades. Ten Duhawks were named All-Iowa Conference selections; Alex Bradley, Tyler Cruikshank, Justin Giacotto, Mike Gordon, Bryan Irwin, Sam Koenig, Spencer Moore, Jacob Peterson, Johnny Rummelhart and Jorge Simon. Simon was named the Iowa Conference
Defensive MVP for the season.
With the help of these talented Duhawks, Loras is making great strides in the postseason as they handed Carthage a loss on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Our mentality has not changed,” said senior forward Richard Lenke. “We still focus on each game individually and prepare ourselves one game at a time. We know how important it is to not get ahead of ourselves and overlook teams, especially at this point in the season.”
The Duhawks proceeded to come out strong against the Red Men, implementing high pressure and testing the keeper early. In the eleventh minute the Duhawks were awarded a free kick just outside the 20. Simon stepped up for the kick. It hit the Red Men wall, sending the ball to the foot of Lenke. Lenke volleyed a beautiful ball into the back of the net opening the scoring early, giving the Duhawks a 1-0 lead. Not long after, junior Kyler Olson sent a ball behind Carthage defense, finding junior Alex Bradley. He sent the ball into the box to meet the foot of junior Austin Jacobi who scored in the 25th minute providing the Duhawks with a 2-goal lead.
As much as Carthage tried, it was unable to create any quality chances to test the Duhawks. As the men took the field for the second half, it took only 60 seconds for the Duhawks to put away their third goal of the game. Senior defensemen Justin Giacotto headed in a Lenke corner kick. As the second half winded down, Carthage was awarded a penalty kick in the 75th minute after a foul inside the box for the Duhawks.
When the final whistle blew the men walked off with a 3-1 win and a ticket to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The men will face DePauw University Friday in the Rock Bowl, time to be determined.
“I think that a lot of the guys are excited to get the chance to play DePauw again,” said Lenke. “We were incredibly disappointed in the result the first time around and this gives us a chance to prove ourselves yet again. I think, having played them already, we have a good idea of what they are going to come out with and how they are going to play. Needless to say, it’s going to be a fun one.”