Men's Soccer, Sports

Knights advance in NCAA tourney with shootout win

Video: Kaitlyn Williams, Rochelle Beardsley and Nathan Ford

For the second consecutive game the No. 16 Wartburg men’s soccer team was victorious in a penalty kick shootout.

The Knights tied Milwaukee School of Engineering (17-4-2) 1-1, winning 5-4 in the shootout on Wartburg’s snow-covered field in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

There was a constant snowfall through the whole game, which made the game even more challenging for the Knights (12-3-6).

“There’s no real perfect way or even science to play in snow,” Wartburg head coach Kirk Artist said. “You could tell that a lot of people were losing their footing, our speed was negated quite a bit. We couldn’t dribble at people. It was hard to connect passes.”

Wartburg only took one shot on goal in the first half, when Zach Smith dribbled the ball right past MSOE (17-4-1) goalie Garrett Farin and into the net to give Wartburg a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute.

The Raiders tied the score in the second half with a corner-kick goal with only 17 minutes left in regulation.

Wartburg wasn’t able to connect on any of their three attempts before time ran out, sending the game into OT.

The Knights took three shots in the first OT, but weren’t able to put it in the net. MSOE didn’t take a shot during that period. The second OT was similar with the only shots coming from Wartburg’s Paris Martins.

The lineup for the Knights was exactly the same as last week. Jay Tegge and Dan Nadeau nailed both of their shots similar, to MSOE’s first two shots.

Peter Tran’s shot was blocked by Farin, but Austin Boyke was able to block MSOE’s next shot to keep the score at two.

Kevin Krueger and Brady Anderson knocked in both of their shots, as did the next two MSOE shooters to force a sudden death shootout.

Zubeen Azari, who confidently struck the ball past Farin for the Knights.

Next, MSOE’s Daniel Frey took his shot and was blocked by Boyke. With that save, Wartburg won the game advanced to the second round to face No. 19 Chicago on Sunday at 1 p.m.

This is the second PK shootout in a week for Boyke and the second time he has made a huge game-winning for his team.

“You just have to keep the thought in your mind that your guys are going to make their shots, and all you have to do is come up with one maybe two (saves),” Boyke said.

The Knights were able to push through 2 1/2 hours of snowfall and 23-degree weather to come out victorious on their home field.

Artist said the magnitude of the game was enough for his players to keep motivated through the cold.

“I could talk to them, I could yell at them, I could do all of that stuff, but the motivation comes from the NCAA tournament,” he said.

Boyke, a first-year starter, said winning a game in the NCAA tournament has a completely different feeling.

“The victory against Loras last week was one thing for the conference championship, but now that we’re here in the NCAA tournament it’s a bigger stage and the wins just feel that much better,” he said.

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