Luther College Chips

Men’s Soccer advances in the NCAA III National Tournament

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Men’s Soccer advances in the NCAA III National Tournament

Ben Keller (‘20) and Faydane Ouro-Akondo (‘22) celebrate after Brunno Colon ‘s (‘19) overtime goal against Knox College on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Ben Keller (‘20) and Faydane Ouro-Akondo (‘22) celebrate after Brunno Colon ‘s (‘19) overtime goal against Knox College on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Ben Keller (‘20) and Faydane Ouro-Akondo (‘22) celebrate after Brunno Colon ‘s (‘19) overtime goal against Knox College on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Ben Keller (‘20) and Faydane Ouro-Akondo (‘22) celebrate after Brunno Colon ‘s (‘19) overtime goal against Knox College on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Hope Gilbertson, Staff Writer

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Luther Men’s Soccer defeated Knox College 1-0 in overtime in the first round of the NCAA III National Tournament at home on Saturday, Nov. 10. Luther followed the win with a 3-2 home victory over Dominican University in the second round of the National Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 11. These two victories put Luther into the quarterfinals of the National Tournament for the first time since 2011.

According to midfielder Logan Morrison (‘20), Luther wanted to maintain their style of play going into the national tournament.

“Our coaches have been talking about how we are going to keep playing our game, and we aren’t going to change based on who we play,” Morrison said. “When we play as a team and the way we want to play, we feel like one of the best teams in the country.”

In the first match Luther had 14 shots with five on goal, while Knox had one shot on goalkeeper Carson Davenport (‘21). Brunno Colon (‘19) scored the only goal assisted by Faydane Ouro-Akondo (‘22) in the 97th minute  off a pass from the left corner of the box.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Colin Hughes (‘19) dribbles the ball in the first game against Knox College.

Ouro-Akondo said that Luther was excited to defeat Knox, but the team could not enjoy the win because of the quick turnaround for the next round.

“After Saturday’s win we were ecstatic, but we knew that we didn’t have much time to celebrate because we had the Dominican game the very next day, so we focused up again,” Ouro-Akondo said. “Going into the Dominican game we didn’t know much about the team. All we really knew was that they were a good counter attacking side and they had a skillful left winger so we were a bit nervous.”

In the game against Dominican, Ben Keller (‘20) gave Luther a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute off an assist by Colin Hughes (‘19). However, Luther found themselves down 2-1 going into halftime after Isaac Perez and Jonathan Hernandez each scored a goal for Dominican.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Harry Mertz (‘20) kicks the ball during the second round of the NCAA III National Tournament against Dominican University.

After halftime Aidan O’Driscoll (‘19) tied the game with a goal in the 76th minute off an assist by Keller. The score remained tied until the 88th minute when Colon gave Luther a 3-2 lead. This was Colon’s fourth game winning goal of the season, which was assisted by Rafael Broseghini (‘19).

According to Head Men’s Soccer Coach Chris Garcia-Prats, Luther’s 13 seniors stepped up in the last game  in order to continue the season.

“It’s a big senior class, and obviously for them they are playing for their collegiate careers,” Garcia-Prats said. “I think you could see that at the end of the game on Sunday. When you have seniors playing with that little bit of extra something, you can tell they were playing to keep their season going.”

Luther will travel to Chicago to face St. Thomas University in the quarterfinals of the NCAA III National Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17. 

After the weekend’s success, Garcia-Prats was confident going into the match against St. Thomas.

Vicky Agromayor (‘19) | Photo Bureau
Brunno Colon (‘19) challenges Adetayo Oluwasegun of Knox College for the ball.

“Once you get to this point in the season, I think any team in the country can win it all [and] we’ve put ourselves in that position,” Garcia-Prats said. “Our goal [is] to keep playing and try and get to the [championship match].”

Earlier in the season Luther beat St. Thomas 2-1 in an away match on Sept. 18. Ouro-Akonda acknowledged Luther’s close victory over St. Thomas, but was confident about the upcoming match.

“The game we played against [St. Thomas] earlier this year was a tight one but if we play the same way we did last time and work hard and impose our game onto them I’m confident that we will be successful again,” Ouro-Akonda said. “I know that none of the guys are planning on having our season end next week.”

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