Augustana soccer looks to the future after 2-12-2 season
The Augustana College men’s soccer team recently wrapped up a rough regular season campaign in which the Vikings lost all but four games.
The Vikings struggled for much of the year, finishing the season with a 2-12-2 record. Augustana started the season in a funk, with five straight losses in which the team only managed to score one goal. The team ended its losing streak Sept. 24, when the Vikings earned a 2-2 draw against Simpson University.
The Vikings started the game out strong and took the lead 22 minutes into the first half when Jack McKearnan converted a penalty kick. It was McKearnan’s first goal of the season. The Simpson Storm equalized two minutes into the second half when Garrett Pochop scored his eighth goal of the year. The Vikings retook the lead in the 60th minute when Victor Velazquez scored with a shot from the left side of the field. Ian Dean scored the game-tying goal for the storm in the 76th minute on a cross from Colin Robinson.
Augustana recorded its first win of the year a week later when the Vikings knocked off Coe College 1-0. Daniel Artman scored the lone goal of the game in the 24th minute for his first goal of the season.
In the Vikings' next game of the year, the team played a 0-0 draw against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Following the draw to Whitewater, Augustana dropped its next four games and failed to score a goal.
After four straight losses, the Vikings recorded its second win of the year with a 2-1 victory over Millikin University. Matthew Allen found the back of the net in the 43rd minute for his third goal of the year. Augustana held the 1-0 lead for much of the game until Millikin’s Chris Clay scored a late equalizer in the 81st minute.The game ended 1-1 at the end of regulation and went into an overtime period. Seven minutes into overtime Chris Plantz scored the winning goal to give the Vikings the second win of the season.
Augustana dropped its final two games of the season, first falling 2-0 to Illinois Wesleyan University and then falling 3-0 against Carthage College.
With the regular season over, head coach Mick Regan named Allen, a sophomore, as player of the year; Jeremy Klaber as the most improved player; and freshman Sander Soerhaug as the newcomer of the year. Allen was Augustana’s top scorer this season with three goals, and the 5-foot-11-inch forward started all 16 games this season.
Klaber started 14 games in goal for the Vikings this season and had a save percentage of .759. One of the highlights of the year for Klaber came when he recorded back-to-back shutouts against Coe and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He finished the year with 88 saves, which is the sixth most in a year in Augustana history. Despite the poor record, Klaber only gave up an average of 1.8 goals per game.
Soerhaug anchored the Vikings' defensive line, playing in 15 matches this year and was one of the strongest players on the defensive end of the field.
Augustana will now look ahead to next year. The Vikings will have a strong core of returning players, with only four players set to graduate at the end of the year.
For more information on the Vikings' season, visit www.athletics.augustana.edu.