Last of the losing streak
DUBUQUE, IA. – The Loras College men’s soccer team ended the competition on Saturday, Oct. 12, a high note, defeating American Rivers Conference opponent Buena Vista University, 8-2. The team was previously in a slump coming from a three-game loss streak. The night was complimented with junior forward Tigrio Huerta earning his first hat trick of the season.
“We really wanted to work on our attack a little bit,” said head men’s soccer coach Dan Rothert. “Over the last two days, [we’ve been] creating opportunities and trying to be a little more dynamic in the attack, and I think we did that today.”
Attack they did as the Duhawks dominated the first half breaking the silence in the nine-minute with Huerta earning his first goal, unassisted. The Beavers attempted to rally back; however, they found no luck and were stuck battling Loras’ offense.
About ten minutes later, junior forward Manny Lopez snagged an unassisted goal to launch Loras up, 2-0. Buena Vista attempted to counter, but the Loras defense was not giving anything up. The teams would go scoreless for almost thirty minutes until Loras’ offensive pressure caused the Beaver’s defense to cave.
First-year midfielder Alex Sery earned his first goal of the season by sneaking in a third goal before the end of the first half. Sery was unassisted as well. Fortunately, the clock wound down before Buena Vista could have a chance to counter.
The second half started off hot in the 48 minute with senior mid-fielder Mark Histed finding the net for his first goal of the game. Histed was assisted by Huerta. However, Buena Vista had enough of the scoring outrage and, finally, successfully countered.
The counter was led by Buena Vista’s Sam McLachlan in the 50 minute, which got the Beavers on the board, 4-1. This move rekindled a fire in the Duhawks’ defense, while simultaneously motivating the offense.
Huerta seemed to carry the counter and momentum as he went on to score two more goals within three minutes. Huerta’s goal in the 54 minute was unassisted while his third goal in the 57 minute was assisted by Lopez and Burr. This would be Huerta’s first hat trick at Loras College. He’s came close in previous games, so it may be safe to say he’ll earn another one before the season is through.
In the 65 minute, sophomore mid-fielder Kevin Kucaba earned the seventh goal of the night. Kucaba was assisted by first-year forward Zeus Huerta to raise the Duhawks to a six-goal lead. The Beavers didn’t give up, with Noah Bardwell scoring a counter goal and cutting Loras’ lead down to five.
At this point in the game, the Duhawks just needed to hold Buena Vista. However, the pressure was too much for the Beavers, and first-year defender Patrick Clancy tallied the ninth goal of the night in the 88th minute. The goal would be the last scored of the evening by both teams. Loras would finish on top, 8-2.
“[We were] disappointed to give up two,” admitted Rothert. “The conference is kind of all over the place, everyone’s beating up everybody, so the goals against and goals differentials may end up playing into the game if there’s a tie breaker down the road.”
Despite the weather, Loras was able to pull out victories Saturday with football, volleyball, women’s soccer, and men’s soccer. The next Rock Bowl home game for the men’s soccer team will be American Rivers Conference matchup Simpson College. The game will be Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.