Men’s soccer silences DuBuque Spartans at home with 3-1 win

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William Heidenreich

Senior goalkeeper Alex Ruckstaetter (above), has been a key component to the Titans defense, having the second most wins of any IWU goalkeeper.

The men’s soccer team looked to clinch a second consecutive victory, this time at home versus the University of DuBuque Spartans. 

The team displayed a dominant performance against opponent Principia College last Saturday, winning 4-0. 

They carried the same intensity into their game against the Spartans this week, ending the contest with a 3-1 victory 

Getting off to a hot start, the Titans scored their first goal in the twenty-first minute of the game. 

Scored by sophomore Donovan Malone, this goal was the only goal scored in the first-half of play, as IWU lead 1-0 going into the second. 

“Securing a goal early in the game was huge for our confidence. It can be discouraging to try to come back from a deficit,” senior defender and midfielder Spencer Bard said. 

The second-half was a defensive battle between the two teams, with the second goal finally coming at the seventy-third minute. 

This goal was recorded by Senior Patrick Hickey, courtesy of a precise corner kick that was right on target, thanks to the foot of senior Orion Marty, IWU leading 2-0. 

When only 17 minutes remained in regulation, it seemed the Titans were in the clear, safely securing their fourth win of the season. 

This was not the case, IWU’s nerves unsettled when DuBuque scored in the seventy-third minute, one goal from tying the game. 

 “ Securing a goal early in the game was huge for our confidence. It can be discouraging to try to come back from a deficit.” – Spencer Bard

Fending-off a last-minute attempt to tie, the Titans answered Dubuque’s seventy-third minute goal with one of their own in the last 10 seconds of play. 

Assisted by senior Doug Ballard and scored by sophomore Logan Servin, the Titans left the pitch victorious, 3-1. 

Offensively, the Titans dominated the Spartans in all aspects. A total of 23 shots on goal, IWU had more than twice as many as their opponents who finished with 10. 

Similar dominance was displayed defensively, only one save being recorded out of the Spartans 10 shots on goal, their remaining nine missing the target.

“It was a relief knowing the defense had things under control,” senior goalkeeper Alex Ruckstaetter said, “they allowed only one shot on goal, and gave our offense lots of opportunities to score.” 

This season, the Titans have been battling to keep their record above .500. Their previous win, a shutout over Principia College, was only their third victory out of seven games. Clinching a win over DuBuque, IWU improved their record to 4-4 overall. 

On Saturday, the team will hit the road to face Hope College (Holland, Mich.). After their game against Hope, the Titans will play eight consecutive conference games. 

Having an opportunity to secure their third-straight victory, freshman goalkeeper Brett Sprengel is excited to prepare for Saturday’s contest, 

“We’ve learned from our mistakes and are ready to put in the work this week in practice so we can secure a huge win going into conference play,” Sprengel said.