The Indiana Wesleyan University men’s soccer team ended its season Monday, Dec. 2 after a 2-1 loss to Lindsey Wilson College in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament.
The Wildcats down to Montgomery, Ala. on Friday and practiced for three days in anticipation for the game against the tournament’s No. 2-seeded team. IWU was the underdog in this game, as this year’s trip to the national tournament is the Blue Raiders’ 21st in their history, with nine championships under their belts. IWU was the only unseeded team to make it to the second round.
The teams battled for the first 30 minutes of play until Lindsey Wilson took the lead in the 31st minute on a goal by Tom Moody (jr). IWU could not even the score in the first half and went down 1-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the teams fought equally hard and neither team scored in the first 30 minutes of the half. It was not until the 75th minute that IWU tied it up with a goal from Sam Kane (jr). The goal was originally called an own goal for Lindsey Wilson by announcers, but statisticians credited Kane with the goal.
After IWU’s goal, the Wildcats kept good control of the ball and actually ended up with seven shots on goal to the Blue Raiders’ five.
With 2 minutes left in the game, Lindsey Wilson’s Lwandiso Goya (sr) shot the ball past goalkeeper Josh Goepper (so) to take the lead 2-1.
At the final whistle Lindsey Wilson ruled victorious over IWU and secured its spot in the Elite Eight.
Despite the tough loss, the Wildcats are still satisfied with how far they have come this season.
“I am very proud of our guys. We had a tremendous year … clearly the greatest team in IWU history,” head coach Mark Castro said. “They have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Castro has high hopes for the returning players with the tournament experience behind them.
“This is so valuable for them and we can build off of it because now we know it is like and it will pay dividends for us in the next couple of years,” said Castro.