October 28, 2009
By Sean Olsta
It was a wet and sloppy Thursday night at Kiwanis Stadium when The Prairie Stars (1-13-1) played host to the Big Blue of Millikin University (5-10-1) in a non-conference game. The wet weather conditions led to a sloppy play on both sides in a match that resulted in the Prairie Stars’ second victory of the season (1-0).
The early part the first half was spent on the Millikin side of midfield. The Big Blue weren’t able to do much with the ball on their end as the rain caused the players to slip and slide. Every player on the field seemed to run with extra caution as the rain came down harder as the half went on.
The Prairie Star’s first chance at goal was a corner kick with 32:34 left in the half but the kick by midfielder Mauricio Ramirez sailed clear over the net. With 26:40 left in the half Millikin finally got their first chance for a goal when forward Matt Laude had a strike from just outside of the box that was snatched by Prairie Stars keeper Jeremy Carnes.
The Big Blue weren’t able to get any sort of offense together during the rest of the rain-soaked first half. With the half running out, UIS was able to get on the board when midfielder Tyler Rampey scored from 8 yards out off a combination of passes from defender Jonathan Hammer and midfielder Jan Perez. The Prairie Stars went into the half with a 1-0 advantage.
UIS came out of the second half very confidant and looked in control. A series of corners by the Prairie Stars failed to hit the back of the net but gave them the early momentum.
Conditions on the field continued to get worse as the rain came pouring down. Players kicked up sod and were sliding through puddles that lead to a sloppier second half than the first. The white Prairie Stars uniforms looked brown by the time they were done with this rain and mud soaked affair.
Missed chances by both squads dominated the remainder of the game. Several Millikin corners led to missed opportunities in the second half. UIS wasn’t able to get any offense going either but it wasn’t needed. UIS pulled out the 1-0 victory. After the game Coach Joe Eck said, “It felt good, conditions weren’t good but we’ll take the win.”