Men’s soccer victorious in overtime play

Andrew Zienty

Junior Zack Kokes passing the ball upfield
Photo courtesy of: Zack Kokes

Men’s soccer was back in action this past Sunday, March 21 when they hosted the Augustana Vikings. The Titans were victorious 2-1 in overtime after ending regular play 1-1 and junior Zack Kokes scoring the winning goal.

This game-winning goal was a free kick from the left side 22 yards out from goal. 

“I wasn’t even trying to score off the free kick. I was trying to cross it into a dangerous position for a deflection and that’s what the goalie expected but the deflection never came. After such a long layoff I’m proud of this team win which will propel us into this spring season,” Kokes said.

Since this modified spring season is technically out-of-season for soccer there is no final conference championship, conference tournament or NCAA tournament.

Before this game there were eight total games scheduled for the season and, with recent cancellation against Millikin there are only six games left for this spring.

“We are all disappointed about our recent game cancelation against Milikin but we are focusing on the things we can control. Playing our first real game was a surreal moment. It was hard to believe it was our first game in 16 months,” sophomore Dorian Lesiuk said.

The Titans finished the 2019 season 9-8-2 and finished second in the CCIW tournament falling just short of an invite to the NCAA tournament.

“Besides playing every game that we can and competing everyday to make ourselves better for the fall season we want to win and show the CCIW that we mean business and are ready to make some noise this fall,” sophomore Nico Thomas said.

In addition to Kokes’s game-winning goal, senior Bobby Reichert scored the Titans’ only regular play goal in minute 73 of play with the assist from fellow senior Mateo Grajales.

“Playing again has been a breath of fresh air for us all. We have been working hard every day in the weight room and on the field patiently waiting for the time to compete again and now that it is finally here we are not taking any chance to play for granted,” Thomas said.

A joint effort from juniors Brett Sprengel and Austin Woodside locked down the win by holding the Vikings to one goal on 9 shot attempts with 8 combined saves, 4 of which came in the second period. 

“We have a lot of great people who have showed up every day to get better and compete with no idea where the next day could take us. I’m proud of the patience our team has shown. We’re finally being rewarded for our work ethic and patience and there is no better feeling,” Sprengel said.

The Titans will return to Neis Field to face off against Elmhurst Saturday, March 27.