Wed, Oct. 30, 2013 - [Men's Soccer]
The nationally ranked Loras College men's soccer team claimed their second consecutive Iowa Conference title and eighth overall on Tuesday. It came as the result of a win in Pella, Iowa over Central to finish league play 6-1 and some late drama in Waverly, Iowa where the team dropped its only game of 2013 on October 5.
The Senior Day festivities at halftime were just part of the entertainment on Saturday as the Duhawks closed the 2013 home schedule with a convincing 3-0 win over Coe College, 3-0. Erik Berkowitz provided two goals and Josh Kutzke the other. The Duhawks remained on the attack much of the game, allowing just three total shots.
Berkowitz's first strike came seven minutes before halftime when he headed in a long pass from Jimmy Ralph. His second was seven minutes after the break when a Tom Fluegel pass across the top of the 18 reached him on the back post. He tucked both shots into the far post. The Duhawks third goal was sandwiched between Berkowitz's two late in the first half. Josh Kutzke ended his dry spell to become the 20th Duhawk to score a goal this season. Ben Avery earned this assist on that goal.
Loras' roster included senior call-ups Justin Tallard, Joe McCullough, Ian Johnson, and Tom Cole from the reserve squad that recently won the Iowa Conference tournament they participated in. Joining them in the celebration at halftime were fellow seniors Berkowitz, Kevin Cavers, Dylan Milkent, Dan Figura, Alejandro Cosmopolis, Pat Langan, and Tim van den Bergh.
The regular season ended with three more points in the Iowa Conference standings on Tuesday in Pella, Iowa. Loras played an afternoon contest ahead of some of the other action around the league – action which would later determine the fate of the final standings atop the league.
First, the Duhawks did their part with a 2-1 win over the Dutch.
Tim van den Bergh scored first in the 11th minute when he took a Kevin Cavers pass in traffic and knocked it past Central goalkeeper Tim Maggard. The Dutch were even 20 minutes later when they converted a free kick. Aleksander Glavas took the kick and Mark Hentschel headed it home to even the score 15 minutes before the halftime break.
Loras broke through with the game-winner when freshman Richard Lenke made his way to the back post unmarked in the 58th minute. His fourth goal of the year was the game-winner, holding up over the last half hour.
Loras held a 15-5 shot advantage in the first half and 10-4 advantage in the second. The win put the Duhawks at 15-1-2 and 6-1 in the Iowa Conference.
The Duhawks awaited their final slot in the IIAC standings with a key matchup in Waverly, Iowa on Tuesday night. Wartburg (6-0) hosted Luther (5-1, loss came against Loras) in the final key matchup of the day for the regular season title. The 0-0 match progressed into overtime and a tie looked almost a sure thing until a Norse corner kick with less than 10 seconds remaining turned into a scrum, and, eventually a goal for the visitors. The league uses a points system for wins (3) and ties (1), meaning there was a three-way tie at 18 points for the league title based on the Norse's victory. The goal differential tiebreaker went to the Duhawks, who earned the #1 seed for the upcoming IIAC Tournament.
The full breakdown of the IIAC Tournament is now available HERE.