Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Men’s Soccer: ‘Hawks now 8-1, look toward WIAC play


By Ryan Altman

With conference play only a week away, the Warhawks men’s soccer team is off to a hot start, winning eight of nine games, a few of them in dramatic fashion.

Ending the 2012 season with a record of 8-5-3, it is clear that with an almost unblemished record of 8-1-0, the ‘Hawks are on pace to far exceed last year’s finish.

Because of their hot start, the ‘Hawks have climbed into the top 25 rankings, reaching No. 20 in the most recent men’s poll. Men’s head coach Tony Guinn was a little surprised by the excellent start of his squad.

“It’s difficult to start a season and win eight straight games, with three of them coming in overtime,” Guinn said. “It’s been pretty dramatic. The crowd is getting their money’s worth.”

The ‘Hawks will have to continue playing great soccer with WIAC conference play on the horizon. Despite playing only four conference games, WIAC play is the most crucial part of the ’Hawks schedule.

Last year, the ’Hawks finished third behind UW-Platteville and UW-Superior, compiling a record of 2-1-1 in WIAC competition.

This year, the WIAC should be competitive once again, as all five teams have maintained records above .500. UW-Oshkosh (5-0-4) remains unbeaten, while UW-Platteville (3-3-3), UW-Superior (4-4-2), and Finlandia University (3-3-1), all are within one game of each other.

However, Guinn said there are some differences from last year’s team that could give the edge to the ’Hawks.

“Last year’s team was pretty successful,” Guinn said. “This team’s a little older and wiser. There’s more maturity, age and experience.”

Josh Rohde

The ’Hawks’ early season success has given them an extra boost of confidence as well.

Junior goalkeeper Josh Rohde says his team feels confident heading into WIAC play.

“[Our success] has really helped our confidence,” Rohde said. “Every win gives us a winning mentality.”

Junior midfielder Sam Kuchenruether described what it will take for the team to be successful in conference play.

“We have to be patient. Sometimes we kind of rush things,” Kuchenreuther said. “We need to be calm.”

Last Friday night at Fiskum Field, the ’Hawks won a 2-1 double-overtime thriller against the Vikings of Augustana College.

Sam Kuchenreuther

The ’Hawks scored eight minutes into the first half when forward Michael Salm beat the Vikings goalkeeper to give the ’Hawks an early 1-0 lead. The score remained the same until the last minute of regulation, when the Vikings evened the score at 1-1.

The game remained tied after the first overtime, but with 69 seconds left in the second overtime, defensemen Ryan Reid put one past the Vikings goalkeeper to give the ’Hawks the hard-earned victory.

On Sunday night, the ’Hawks suffered their first loss of the season, falling on the road to Carthage College, 1-0. The ‘Hawks managed only five shots in the match, two of which were on goal. Goalkeeper Josh Rohde made two saves for the ’Hawks.

On Oct. 6, the ’Hawks will travel to UW-Platteville to take on the Pioneers in their WIAC opener.

Coach Guinn, a UW-Platteville alum, had some great things to say about this rivalry. “They are really well coached,” Guinn said. “Anytime the two teams play, [the games] are really well contested.”

Along with the weight the game carries in the conference standings, Guinn said there is a new tradition that will add to the importance of the game.

This year will be the first inaugural Shaymus Guinn Cup, which will be awarded to each year’s victor.

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Founded 1901
Men’s Soccer: ‘Hawks now 8-1, look toward WIAC play