Warhawks unbeaten in last five

Warhawks unbeaten in last five

Oct. 15, 2014 By Justin St. Peter

Ever since the Warhawks lost to Carthage University 4-3 in overtime on Sept. 24, the men’s soccer team has played five games without recording a loss.

In the Carthage game, the ’Hawks were down 3-0, before scoring three goals in the last 24 minutes of the second half before losing in overtime.

Head coach Tony Guinn delivered a rousing speech to his team comparing the adversity they faced to historical figures:

“You think of a lot of famous people throughout time, like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln,” Gunn said. “Abraham Lincoln lost a child and had to deal with the Civil War. Churchill had to deal with the fact that his country can be invaded by Germany. They dealt with adversity. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You have to deal with the adversity of what just happened. I told them I was proud of them.”

Following the Carthage game, the ’Hawks unbeaten streak began by beating Augustana on Sept. 24 on the road.

“This year we hold our destiny in our own hands,” senior midfielder John Gottwald said. “If we keep winning, the NCAA can’t keep us out of the tournament.”

The ’Hawks began the week by knocking off NCAA.com’s No. 17 ranked team the North Park University Vikingson Oct. 8 at Fiskum Field, then traveled to St. Norbert College on Oct. 12.

The lone goal of the game came when Gottwald’s corner kick floated into the box, where junior defender Jordan Wilkins was waiting to put it home. Wilkins rose above the defense and headed the ball in, giving the ’Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute.

“We put a lot of numbers around the goalkeeper,” Guinn said. “That makes it more difficult for him (the goalkeeper) because he has to run through a crowd of people. The header that Jordan headed was near post, and I don’t think the goalie even saw the ball.”

The ’Hawks outshot the Vikings 10-6 in the first half as the teams struggled for possession near midfield.

Gottwald had a sure goal snuffed out by the Vikings keeper a few minutes later, before his corner kick connected with Wilkins for the game’s only goal.

’Hawks goalkeeper Josh Rohde made three saves in the game, which gave him a career total of 100 saves. Rohde improved to 5-2-1 on the season and earned his third shutout of the year.

The ’Hawks then hit the road and traveled to St. Norbert to play the Green Knights.

After a scoreless first half that saw the ’Hawks outshoot St. Norbert, 20-7, the Green Knights struck net in the 52nd minute, 1-0.

Gottwald’s corner kick in the 59th minute found senior defender Ryan Reid, who headed it into the back of the net to tie the game up. Gottwald earned his seventh assist of the year, which already had led the team.

“John Gottwald and Ty McCoy have been phenomenal,” Guinn said. “I don’t know how we are going to be able to replace Ryan Reid. Reid is just the backbone and heart and soul of our defense.”

In the 65th minute, senior midfielder Sam Kuchenreuther earned a penalty kick after being fouled in the box. Gottwald stepped up to the penalty line and buried his shot in the back of the net. It was Gottwald’s fourth goal of the year and proved to be the game-winner, as the ’Hawks won 2-1.

Rohde picked up his sixth win of the year by thwarting 6 Green Knights’ shots.

“Josh Rohde has played extremely well for us in the goal,” Guinn said. “The last five to six games have been phenomenal.”

The ’Hawks will open up WIAC play at 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 at UW-Superior. The Yellow Jackets are the defending WIAC champions.

“I think we’re similar teams,” Gottwald said. “We both play up tempo and have a good amount of speed. If we keep playing the way we’ve been though, I know we can get another W out of this game.  We’re on a run right now, and I think we have a good opportunity to keep that streak going.”

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