Men’s and women’s soccer defeat Nebraska Wesleyan

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Men’s and women’s soccer defeat Nebraska Wesleyan

Bernardo Marotti (‘18) passes the ball down field.

Bernardo Marotti (‘18) passes the ball down field.

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto (‘20) | Chips

Bernardo Marotti (‘18) passes the ball down field.

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto (‘20) | Chips

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto (‘20) | Chips

Bernardo Marotti (‘18) passes the ball down field.

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto, Staff Writer

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The women’s and men’s soccer teams played their first conference game of this season against Nebraska Wesleyan University on Sept. 23. Both Luther teams won their respective games.

This was the first conference game for both teams as well as a chance to  show the IIAC their level of preperation for the season. 

The women’s team won 2-1. Ellie Schmid (‘20) opened the scoring in the 23rd minute of the game. McKenzie Lundquist (‘20) continued with a second goal in the 57th minute. Nebraska Wesleyan had one goal by Natalie Graves, also scored in the 57th minute.

Halina Pyzdrowski (‘18) said the win gave the women’s team confidence moving into the rest of the season.

“[We’ve] played some really hard teams and have not seen a win in a while, but now we are back,” Pyzdrowski said.

The women’s schedule is full of highly ranked teams moving forward. These opponents are intentionally chosen to challenge the players and increase their experience playing against difficult teams.

“We are working at being better as a team, and we can still definitely improve in our play,” Claire Little (‘18) said.

Anthony Ramón Pérez Soto (‘20) | Chips
Isabel Iverson (‘21) dribbles the ball.

In addition, the transition of the new players is being carried out effectively, according to Pyzdrowski.

“I think the team is blending really well,” Pyzdrowski said. “We got a lot of new recruits, but a lot of people are stepping into the new positions.”

The women’s team defined specific goals for this season that are intended to help them succeed in the conference, according to Sommer Stevens (‘19).

“For this season we are trying to play as long as we can, which was the same goal that we had last year,” Stevens said.

The men’s team won 4-0. Tristan Davenport (‘19) opened the scoring in the 54th minute. Ten minutes later, Ben Keller (‘20) scored another goal in the 64th minute. Marc Shapiro (‘21) and Rafael Broseghini (‘19) topped off the scoring in the 70th and 89th minutes, respectively.

Luther kept possession of the ball throughout the majority of the game, so Nebraska Wesleyan had few scoring chances against Luther.

Similar to the women’s team, the men will also play highly ranked teams moving forward.

“We are trying to identify top teams in the country that we should be playing to help keep our [competitive] level really high,” Head Men’s Soccer Coach Chris Garcia-Prats said. “[This will help in] our goal to win the conference. [This] is something we are trying to achieve every year, and [we’re] trying to get back to the national tournament,” Garcia-Prats said.

Garcia-Prats said he was not deterred by the two consecutive losses at the beginning of this season.

“Every time we play our goal is to win,” Garcia-Prats said. “[Our team’s] ambition is really high.”

Keller echoed Garcia-Prats sentiments regarding the early season losses and their eagerness to improve.

“The first two games were [against] teams that exposed our flaws,” Keller said. “[It was] a good thing that it happened in the first two games.” 

The men’s soccer team was inspired by their win and will use it as a source of motivation moving forward.

“We want to win the IIAC again, which is very competitive” Tyler Pieper (‘20) said. “Psychologically, it is definitely good to come out with a win in the first conference game.”

Members from both the men’s and women’s teams said that they want other teams to take notice of Luther soccer.

“We are trying to make a statement this year, hopefully other teams will start looking at us like ‘oh man Luther College is our next team, we gotta start preparing for that,’” Keller said.

The women’s and men’s soccer team will see conference play next against Buena Vista University on Sept. 30.

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