October 21, 2009
By Sean Olsta
Photo by Melissa Conrad
Midfielders Brian Doellman (22) and Anthony Longo pass the ball during Sunday’s game against Lewis University.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon at Kiwanis Field when the UIS Men’s and Women’s soccer teams hosted the Lewis University Flyers. Both UIS teams were looking to notch their first win in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, and their second home victories of the season.
The Prairie Stars (2-13-0, 0-13-0) fell to the Flyers (4-9-2, 3-8-1) 1-0 in a back and forth affair.
An early goal in the third minute by Lewis midfielder Allison Schieffer set the tone early. The Prairie Stars had opportunities to make runs in the first half but the combination of sloppy passes and a stonewalling Flyers defense stopped attacks on every occasion.
With the Flyers on the attack, Prairie Stars goalie Kelli Kubal made a leaping save with four minutes left in the half to keep the game with in reach. Two late attacks gave the Prairie Stars confidence ending the half. But the Flyers were able to keep the ball on their side of the midfield line for a vast majority of the first half, giving them a 1-0 lead going into the second half.
The Prairie Stars came out of locker room with a much more aggressive attitude than the first. Two early attacks seemed to give the Prairie Star a new sense of confidence. The early aggressiveness turned on the Prairie Stars when team captain Casey Thorpe was taken off the field after knocking heads with a Flyer trying to gain possession.
Although Thorpe returned the momentum seemed to shift back to the Flyers who kept the ball in their half consistently for the next 10 minutes of play. After a corner kick with 17 minutes left in the game, Prairie Stars forward Beth Rayman had an open view of the net with only the goalie to beat. Flyers keeper Megan George made the save with 9 minutes left allowing Lewis to finish the game with a 1-0 victory.
Prairie Stars head coach Pete Kowall said, “Our effort was good, I commended the girls for representing the university well. We just weren’t able to get a goal.”
The men's team (1-12-1, 0-11-1) continued their season ending home stand with a match with Lewis University (10-3-1, 8-3-0). The Prairie Stars ended up losing the match 4-0 to complete Lewis’ Sunday sweep of the Prairie Stars.
The game was dominated early by the Flyers. Lewis had early chances at drawing first blood but the UIS defense kept the Flyers from scoring. After keeping the ball in their end of the pitch, the Flyers defense started to give up some ground a quarter of the way through the half.
A close call with 30 minutes left in the first half shifted the momentum back to the Flyers. Possession stayed around midfield until the Flyers got their best look at a goal with 25 minutes left in the half. Prairie Stars goal keeper Jeremy Carnes made a diving save and tackled the ball that was half across the goal line to keep his clean sheet.
The Prairie Stars were awarded a corner kick with 17 minutes left in the half but the Flyers defense snuffed out the try and the Prairie Stars failed to convert on the chance.
Stellar defense on both sides continued. The Flyers defense kept the UIS from creating any attacks and the Prairie Star defense kept Lewis’ attempts at goal from breaking the tie.
A centering pass by Flyers midfielder Tim Vance almost made it into the net during the last minute of play but the ball sailed wide. The fist half ended at 0-0.
Lewis came out of halftime with more intensity than the first. The pressure paid off when Flyers forward Kipp Cartwright struck the back of the net with a shot from about three yards outside of the box.
Minutes later, Prairie Stars midfielder Michael Waldo had a break at the goal. Waldo had on defender aside him as he made his way into the box. His shot from 10 yards out sailed a shot over the net from inside the box.
With the Flyers in control, midfielder Tim Vance laid a cross into the box that was headed into the net by midfielder Art Rodriguez in the 66th minute. Lewis added to their lead once again with a strike off the boot of midfielder Mardoche Beya from deep inside the box. Another goal by forward Nester Hernandez off a rebound put the Flyers up 4-0.
The Prairie Stars started to lose their composure late in the game. Yellow cards were given to several UIS players late in the half. With 10 minutes left Prairie Stars midfielder Anthony Longo was given a red card for arguing with a call and was sent off the field.
Prairie Stars head coach Joe Eck commented on his team’s performance. “We played well for 30 minutes. “The first goal was unfortunate, we got down and that was the ballgame. Everything unraveled.”
The next Prairie Starts soccer game will be Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Kiwanis Stadium.