October 7, 2009
By Michael Omenazu
Photo by Jeremy Wilburn
Soccer player Brian Doellman encourages a teammate while running down the field at
Both UIS soccer teams fell short in their homecoming games, with the women losing 0-4 and the men 1-2 to Bellarmine.
Earlier in the week, each member of both rosters was introduced before a large assembly at TRAC arena during the homecoming pep rally. A similar assembly of supporters gathered at Kiwanis stadium.
In a mutual endeavor between multiple organizations to increase turnout, students were impelled to attend and support the Pack the Field event. As a result, the bleachers were filled with many students sporting painted faces and a surplus of UIS gear.
The horde of UIS supporters was decorated with Blue Crew members, an association of student fans that actively participate at sporting events. Both cheering on their Prairie Stars while chastising the opposition, they assisted in creating an intense atmosphere.
The UIS Men’s soccer team lost a chippy and physical contest in overtime.
Scoring in the match began early. As the home crowd began filing in Bellarmine put points on the board, scoring within the first five minutes of the game on an unassisted goal at the 4:45 mark.
UIS responded with a team effort as Tyler Rampey assisted Mauricio Ramirez at the 33:51 minute. Ramirez commented, “It was the best feeling in the world scoring in front of the community here in Springfield.”
He also added, “It boosted the team’s morale after and you could notice the change in attitude in the second half.”
The Prairie Stars finished regulation tied 1-1. In overtime Goalie Jeremy Carnes came up with a save on a penalty-kick that ignited both his team and an already excited crowd.
However, Bellarmine quickly responded as Robert Bowling scored the game winning goal on a breakaway three minutes into the extra period.
Although the weather featured gusting winds, inconsistent rain and chilly air, both teams found themselves in a heated match that included three yellow cards, confrontations that stopped play and chronic jeers and cheers from a boisterous crowd.
Defender Chris Rajcic pointed out the resulting effect saying, “[They] got us really pumped up so we wanted to come in there and give the fans a win, but unfortunately we got unlucky at the end.”
The defeat was both the ninth consecutive loss and game in which the Lady Stars failed to score. Stars Head Coach Pete Kowall commented, “Tonight we got another example of why this conference is so tough.”
Bellarmine followed the three goals it scored in the first half with another in the second. Conversely, Casey Thorpe had the single shot for UIS.