Luther ends (men’s) Loras soccer seasons
By Jon Quinn
DUBUQUE, IA. – On what was a chilly night last weekend, Luther snatched the American Rivers Conference Championship title from the Loras College men’s soccer team. The Duhawks lost to the Luther College Norse last Saturday, Nov. 9, with a final score of 2-1. The game was intense till the last minute with Luther scoring the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.
Loras started out aggressively by taking several shots in the first half, but none of them slipped through. Luther was left to play defense for the majority of the first half, but were able to turn the possession a few times to go on the offensive. Both teams were playing high-level soccer in the first half and concluded the first half with no score.
In the second half, Loras came out just as aggressive — if not more — than the first half, resulting in a goal by senior mid-fielder Kody Rife in the 49th minute. Loras worked to continue pressing offensively, but Luther was also able to maintain their aggressiveness and began putting more and more pressure on the Duhawks.
Loras soon found themselves on the defensive side of the game, where a corner kick from the Norse led to a handball to favor Luther for a penalty kick. Luther’s Marcos Vila went up against senior goalkeeper Jesse Buffington. The Rock Bowl fell silent when Vila began his kick. Buffington quickly made his move and blocked the penalty kick, but unfortunately, the ball bobbled loose, allowing Vila to quickly recharge and fire again, making the goal and leveling the score at 1.
The teams continued to battle it out as the clock ran down. The game looked as though it would run into overtime, with both teams reaching a stalemate until the 89th minute. Right at the end of the game, Luther’s Ben Keller received a well-placed pass from Colin Hughes and managed a break-away to get a one on one with Buffington. Buffington tried to establish his spacing while reading Keller’s footwork. However, Keller was able to execute, finding the back corner of the goal. Now down one point, Loras attempted to battle back — starting as aggressive as possible, with a sole minute remaining in the game — but the Norse held them off to secure the NCAA bid into the DIII National Tournament.