Titan men’s soccer four-game winning streak ends


Brian Morefield


Feeding off of a three-game winning streak, the Illinois Wesleyan University men’s soccer team came out strong to start the game against the University of Dubuque. After dominating a majority of the first half, a tough foul called right in front of the box propelled Dubuque to an early 1-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, junior Mitch Billimack made his first goal of the year on a beautiful cross from junior Drake Leary.

A 1-1 score didn’t seem to interest the Titans, who came out firing in the second. Ten minutes into the half, senior captain John Pisani placed a crisp ball into the back of the net and a nice feed from Carlo Fava.

Shortly after, first-year J.J. Slomba scored the first goal of his college soccer career when senior Colin Rathe broke down the defense with a nifty move and a great ball across the goal box that landed perfectly at Slombas feet.

The Titans then faced the Engineers of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology on Sunday afternoon in front of a packed crowd. The Titans were dominating the game until a corner in the second half when a missed clearance led to a goal for the Engineers.

The Titans spent the rest of the game trying to find an equalizer, but the game was finally decided with three minutes left, when a misplayed pass led to a steal and a breakaway goal for the opposition. The game ended 2-0 in favor of Rose Hulman and ended the four-game winning streak for the Titans.

It was a tough loss, but there is a silver lining to the situation.

“We set a goal early in the year that we wanted to be undefeated at home,” said senior captain John Pisani. “It hurts to fail at that goal but we have to take this game with a grain of salt,”

Pisani later added, “We simply did not play our best soccer today and it showed in the results on the scorecard. We have a big set of games coming up and we look forward to showing the region how strong our team is.”

The big set of games Pisani referred to is a six-game road trip that the Titans will start this upcoming weekend. They will start in Iowa with Simpson College and end with a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin to face bitter conference rival Carthage College.

“With conference approaching, it is imperative we work out the kinks and start playing our best soccer. I have complete faith that we can do it.”

The rest of the team is sure to agree with Pisani’s words.  The men will take the field again in Bloomington, Illinois this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against Domican University.