Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Men’s Soccer: Warhawks fall short of postseason bid


By Justin St. Peter

The Warhawk men’s soccer team failed to make the NCAA Division III soccer playoffs despite an impressive victory over the UW-Oshkosh Titans, 3-1, on Senior Night last Friday.

Before the game, the team’s seniors: goalie Matt Mikesell, defender Alex Szarzysnki, defender Max Hey and midfielder Logan Fye were honored.

Once the game started, the Titans had an opportunity to take an early lead, but Mikesell made a save off Chris Kurth’s shot two minutes into the game. The `Hawks struck first with Hey’s first goal of the season, 17 minutes in. Fye beat the goalie a few minutes later, but it was saved by a defender who was able to deflect it off of the post.

When the second half started, the Titans made a push to tie the game. On the fourth shot on goal of the half, the Titans Ryan Hanna netted one to tie the game.

Szarzynski was able to score his first goal of the season just two minutes later. His goal proved to be the game-winner at the 69:20 mark.

A few minutes later, freshman Sam Novak scored a goal to ensure a late rally would not send the game into overtime. The `Hawks enjoyed a slight advantage in shots, 14-12.

“It was a great game,” junior defender Kyle Sundby said.“We are pretty big rivals with Oshkosh and every time we play them, it’s a pretty intense physical game, but I thought it was one of our best games of the year.”

There were three red cards and seven yellow cards handed out in the match. Four yellow and all three red cards were issued in the second half.

For the seniors, it was the final game of their collegiate career. The `Hawks’ record of 8-5-3 overall and 2-1-1 in conference would have likely put them into the NCAA Division III soccer tournament.

But, because the WIAC conference only has five teams, the team does not have an automatic qualifying bid.

Head coach Tony Guinn said he thought the `Hawks .500 winpercentage was not a great measure of how well the team played.

“I was happy with the season,” Guinn said. “If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that we would only lose five games out of 16, I’d be happy with that. We played the 6th hardest schedule in the country out of 300 teams. Of the games we lost, all of them but one are going to the NCAA tournament.”

The four seniors were given paintings by Guinn’s son Shaymus, Disney watches and a framed team photo.

“The biggest thing with these guys will be the work ethic,” junior Kyle Sundby said about the seniors. “Every day in practice, in games, they came ready to work and help the younger guys get better and really helped make the program what it is.”

Shaymus is suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare blood disease. He was able to attend some games and show support for the team. Coach Guinn handed out orange wristbands at the start of the year that read, “Stay Strong Shaymus.”

“He was definitely a big inspiration for us,” said junior Kyle Sundby. “Every day we would see these orange wristbands and we would know that we are lucky to be able to be out there playing this game and there are people that aren’t as fortunate as we are.”

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Founded 1901
Men’s Soccer: Warhawks fall short of postseason bid