Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Gottwald leads team to victory


Oct. 1, 2014 By Paul Bressler

After a disappointing last week, the UW-Whitewater men’s soccer team picked up two wins against Augustana College (IL) and North Central College (IL) over the weekend to improve to 6-3-1 on the season.

“We’ve won two games against two really good teams,” head coach Tony Guinn said. “I think the biggest difference was we went two games in a row where we didn’t give up any goals. Josh Rohde performed really well at this time. It’s been great that he’s stepped up against really quality opponents.”

Warhawks captain and senior goalkeeper Josh Rohde accounted for 12 saves in the back-to-back shutout victories.

The ’Hawks’ second game took place on Sept. 28 at Fiskum Field.

The ’Hawks fired away four shots in the first 25 minutes of the game after controlling the tempo for much of the first half.

The aggressiveness earned the team a corner kick in the 29th minute to which senior midfielder Ty McCoy connected on a header from captain and senior midfielder John Gottwald.

At the midpoint of the season, Gottwald leads the team with five assists.

“John Gottwald has yet to have a game this year where John wasn’t the best player on the field,” Guinn said. “He’s special. John could play anywhere. I think there’s plenty of Division-I schools who would have loved to have John on their team. We have the advantage of having the best player on the field every time we’ve played this year because John’s been that best player.”

North Central (5-3-1) responded by dominating possession in the final five minutes of the half.

Rohde ended the first half with back-to-back saves, after a flurry of shots by the Cardinals, to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Rohde came up big again two minutes into the second half with another crucial stop.

After another save by Rohde, junior forward Sam Novak found Gottwald on the counterattack to give the ’Hawks a 2-0 lead and Gottwald’s team-leading third goal of the season.

“If your team doesn’t score early and kind of take over the game, then you have to play your starters for a long period of time,” Guinn said. “The longer they play, the more tired they’re going to get. It’s nice to get up on a team so you can utilize your bench. We don’t play an easy schedule by any means which makes it really physically demanding.”

North Central senior forward Lucas Habeeb threatened the shutout in the 86th minute with a shot on goal and a second opportunity on the rebound, but senior defender Ryan Reid used a header to clear the ball and preserve Rohde’s shutout.

The ’Hawks have accumulated five shutouts so far this season.

The ’Hawks took home the Viking-Warhawk Cup in exciting fashion with a 1-0 victory over Augustana on Friday night at Thorson-Lucken Field in Rock Island, Ill.

“The atmosphere was intense,” Guinn said. “There was an enormous amount of people at the game. There weren’t many people cheering for us. It was a pretty hostile environment, to be honest. I think the guys really enjoyed that atmosphere. It was like playing in Europe because the fans were all alongside the field. They were very animated and really into the game. I think if you’re at Whitewater everybody that you play against constantly has your name circled.”

The first half was a back-and-forth struggle that saw neither team get a shot on goal. The start of the second half was much of the same for the ’Hawks.

The Viking’s (7-2) held a 7-0 shot advantage (12-4 overall) before junior forward Xander Lien challenged the net in the 63rd minute for the first time in the contest.

A pair of corner kicks and shot attempts later, Gottwald set up Reid on a pass and he found the back of the net for his third goal of the season in the 82nd minute.

It was also Reid’s third career game winning goal.

“We didn’t have any opportunities in the first half,” Guinn said. “We’re very defensive. We switched our system completely in the second half, which I think helped generate a goal. We made an adjustment, and I know that they didn’t. When we made our adjustment I know we were threatening all the time. The first half we didn’t threaten at all.”

Rohde protected on a couple of late headers by Augustana in the final four minutes of the game and recorded his first shutout of the year.

Rohde is currently 4-2 on the season after making four saves in the contest.

After three games in four days, the ’Hawks will have a few days to rest before taking the pitch against Concordia University at 4 p.m. Oct. 1 in Mequon, Wisconsin.

“I think if you look at their schedule, they have been involved in every game that they’ve played in,” Guinn said. “The bottom line is we haven’t run into anybody who hasn’t gotten excited about playing us. That’s the tough thing.”

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Founded 1901
Gottwald leads team to victory