Men’s Soccer ends season with statement win over Pacific Lutheran
The men’s soccer team finished off their season this weekend on a high note with a 2-1 win against rival Pacific Lutheran University, gaining a measure of revenge for a loss to the Lutes earlier in the season.
The first half held little action except for a goal from the Lutes putting them in the lead coming into the second half. In the 52nd minute Senior Kyle Benson (Mukilteo, Wash.) sent the ball across the box and Junior Terence Blackburn (Tacoma, Wash.) slammed it in to tie the score at 1-1. Fourteen minutes later Freshman Dylan Lomanto (Portland, Ore.) got possession of the ball after a failed goal attempt and sank it into the net for the winning score of 2-1. The teams battled it out for the next 23 minutes but no goals resulted from the play. The Loggers out-shot the Lutes 11-8 and Sophomore Chris McDonald (Newton, Mass.) made two saves to preserve the victory.
“It was awesome to win my last soccer game as well as maintain our undefeated season at home. It will be an amazing memory for me to remember the 8 second count down and then at the buzzer running into my team with the fans storming the field to join us in celebrating,” said senior Kyle Benson.
Coach Reese Olney couldn’t say enough about what Benson brought to the team this year.
“He was our only Senior and I was extremely happy for how well he played in his final Collegiate soccer game. It was a great way for him to close out his Collegiate career. He was our Captain, leading scorer and a great example of Puget Sound Men’s Soccer, both on and off the field. Specifically for the game against Pacific Lutheran, he set the tone with his work ethic and was a huge factor in our offense as he generated several scoring opportunities including both goals,” Olney said.
“Each year we set out with the expectations to compete for another Conference Title. Since we fell short of that goal it is difficult to feel like the season was a complete success, but I do feel like we had some success to build upon. For example, we went undefeated at home, (7-0-3) and we had double digit victories for the 11th time in the past 12 years.” Olney said
For being such a young team (sixteen freshmen and one senior) the team played quite well this year, particularly at home. They pulled out a total of ten wins, five losses and five ties, beating the win record from the 2009 season.
“The PLU game on Saturday was the last game of the season and it was nice that we ended on a good note. In the last two weeks our young team has grown but it was disappointing we did not grow as much as we did in the beginning of the season. This team has gone through a lot of changes in the past year and I am excited to see where they end up next year,” concluded senior Kyle Benson.
Returning all but one player, Olney was understandably optimistic about next fall while continuing to emphasize that hard work will be the key to this program’s future success.
“[Next year is] another opportunity to achieve our goal of a Conference Championship. I believe we have enough talent on our roster to compete for that goal, but our off-season will be very important to further our development both physically and psychologically so that we can capture another title,” Olney said.