Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Brian Neal0
Comeback Season for Lewis Men’s Soccer
Brian Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Photo above by Steve Woltmann: Freshman Lenin Roa-Tapia has played key minutes for the Flyers, who secured a spot in the GLVC tournament.
After being 3-7 at one point, the Lewis University men’s soccer team won six of their last seven games to make the GLVC Tournament as the eighth and final seed.
The Flyers were able to finish the regular season 9-8 overall and 9-6 in conference play. However, it took until their final game of the year to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
The tournament-clinching game was in Kenosha, Wis. against UW-Parkside (6-10-1 on the year). The Flyers controlled their own fate; if they won or tied, they were in the tournament. After a scoreless first half, Lewis took over in the second, scoring three goals and winning the game 3-0.
“The bottom line is we still have to do the little things to win, and lately, we’ve been keeping the ball out of the back of the net,” Head Coach Evan Fiffles told the Lewis Athletics website. “George [Thomson’s] score early was so key, because we got to relax and [Parkside] had to come out and get us, and that changes the game.”
Sophomore George Thomson scored the first goal of the day during the 46th minute of play. About 31 minutes later, junior Cristhian Ramirez put in the second. Both plays were unassisted.
Finally during the 80th minute, freshman Colin Donnally kicked in the final goal of the game, and was assisted by fellow freshman Luke Comerouski.
The Flyers run to the post-season started back on Oct. 5 when they traveled to Missouri-St. Louis. They won that game 1-0, and two days later beat Maryville by the same score.
They then returned to Lewis for a three-game home stand. Losing the first game to Quincy 3-0, the Flyers bounced back and won 2-1 against Illinois-Springfield — a match that started a four-game winning streak that would propel them to the playoffs. Saint Joseph’s was their next challenge and final home game of the year; they took that game 1-0.
Lewis then went on the road to play Indianapolis, again coming away with a 1-0 victory. Following the game against the Greyhounds, came the win over Parkside to secure their spot.
The success for the Flyers started with their defense and goalkeeping this year. Of their nine wins, seven were shutouts. And out of all 17 games played this season, they only allowed more than two goals three times (three goals each of those occurrences).
Lewis used two goalies this year. Early in the year, junior Alec Pickett received most of the starts. In 11 starts (13 games played overall), he allowed 14 goals while posting four shutout performances — finishing the season with a 4-6 record.
Senior Sebastian Kieruzal started in goal six times this season (7 games played overall), and gave up five goals en route to a 4-2 season. The final three games this year were all shutouts, and all of them saw Kieruzal in the net.
Thomson led the team in points this year with 14 (two points for one goal; one point for one assist), as he scored five goals and had four assists on the year.
Right behind him was Comerouski with 10 points. He finished the 2012 campaign with four goals and two assists.
Two players, Donnally and Ramirez, finished with four points each, both scoring two goals this year.
Seven players finished with two points, and four players finished with one.
The first round of the tournament was set and pinned Lewis against the No. 1 seed, Rockhurst, on Sun. Oct. 28.
To catch up on how they did, check www.lewisflyers.com.