Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s soccer get knocked out by Knox

(From left) Matthew Allen, Grant Bracken, Chris Plantz and Daniel Artman celebrate Allen’s goal against Knox College on September 16th.

The Augustana Vikings have had a hard time earlier this season. They just lost their fifth straight game in a row to Knox college 2-1. This was mainly due to their lack of ability to score; however, during this past game against Knox college, which took place at their home field, they were able to build the courage to put it in the back of the net.
Head coach, Mick Regan believes they were having a tough time scoring because their confidence as a team.
“Today, we were able to put our chances together and score,” Regan said. “We were a lot more dangerous today than we have been in the past games.”
A lot of the confidence comes with age. As of now, they are still a very young team. The entire team consists of only seven upperclassmen, so they have a lot of time to connect and grow as a team.
“The season has been a little frustrating,” senior captain, Grant Bracken, said. “We are a young team, but we are learning quickly.”
Sophomore, Matt Allen, who scored the first goal of the season in the ninth minute of play against Knox, said, “The season has been very progressive because we’re building on every performance and trying to minimalize every error we can.”
The Vikings defended Knox successfully up until the very end of the first half. Knox ended up scoring in the 40th minute to tie the game going into half time.
The Vikings held them off until the 60th minute—about halfway into the second half—when Knox scored a second goal.
From there, the Vikings were on the attack looking to tie the game. On the offensive side of the field, they were having a hard time staying as composed as they were during the first half of the game.
“We have been struggling to stay composed when we’re looking to score,” junior captain, Jack McKearnan said. “Whether it’s struggling to complete that final pass or putting a shot on goal, we haven’t been able to put it all together.”
Regan agreed, “Being comfortable in the attacking position is what we’ve had to work on during practices. I’ve switched some players around in order to have more numbers towards the opponent’s goal.”
With Augie being down by one goal, the intensity of the entire field picked up.
“Players don’t like to lose games,” Regan said. “Sometimes that means you have to fight for what you want.”
In the last five minutes or so, both teams were getting very physical leading to shoving, dirty tackles, and both teams ready for the other to throw the first punch.
“The level of conflict in each game varies,” Allen said. “Today had nothing to do with Knox. It was just a very competitive game that both teams wanted to win.”
Neither team wanted to give the other any leverage, and that was very apparent in both teams demeanor.
“This game was physical,” Regan said, “but nothing compared to the CCIW.”
The Vikings have a hard conference, but Regan sees improvement within every game.
The team has a unified goal this season, which was vocalized by many players when interviewed.
“Our team goal is to finish in the top 4 of the CCIW which will put us in the conference tournament,” McKearnan said. “This will be the first time in a long time, and it’s well over-due.”
The Men’s soccer team will play next on Wednesday Sept 20 against UW-Platteville here in Rock Island.
“Our next challenge will be to focus on Platteville and hopefully get a win to get our season rolling,” Bracken said.
“We know we can compete with this team, so we are looking to take our first win of the season,” Allen agreed.
Regan concluded his interview by saying, “We’re a young team and we have some learning to do, but I’m proud of each and every one of my players.”
The team looks forward to the CCIW tournament starting on Wednesday, Sept 27.

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Men’s soccer get knocked out by Knox