The men’s soccer team ended its season with a 2-1 home defeat against the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville (SIUE) Cougars on Friday at Durwood Soccer Stadium in a night which honored this year’s senior class.
After Summit League results on Saturday didn’t fall in favor of the Roos in their bid to make the post-season tournament, this contest proved to be the last for senior captain Chris Markey, Matt Kopsky, Josh Lind, Luke Harman, Brandon Nilsson, and forward pair Jimmy Simon and Diego Rojas.
The Cougars (8-7-4) struck first when winger Aaron Lantz assisted Derek Huffman with a cross from the right that was converted inside the box in the 24th minute and this would be the only score of the half.
As the second half got underway, it was clear the home side had upped the tempo of the game and created more scoring chances. The Roos found themselves on the scoreboard after sophomore Zach Balthazar’s deflected shot found senior Harman, whose shot from the top of the penalty box rocketed past SIUE goalkeeper Scott Meyer to tie the game at 1-1 in the 73rd minute.
Ten minutes later the Cougars answered with a goal from forward Jack Twellman, who found himself one-on-one inside the box and converted his chance for the game-winning strike.
The Roos were outshot on the night 16-7, with superb performances throughout the game from Kyle Martin and Kevin Corby who both shared time with a half apiece.
It has been a season where the exiting seniors made huge contributions to the team’s overall performances on the field and also helped the newly-recruited faces in the team to settle and become comfortable in the soccer program’s set-up. Although the 2011 season is over, the team is now focusing on the next challenge and poised to put in a solid spring season and build toward successful future campaigns under Head Coach Rick Benben and Assistant Coach Fred Schlichting.