Soccer suffers losing weekend

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

Macomb, Ill. — The Western Illinois University Men’s Soccer team went into the weekend looking for their first win. They faced the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday where they had a loss of 2-0 and faced Bowling Green State University on Sunday, where they fell 3-2. They now move on to 0-3-1 on the season.

The Green Bay game started on a scary note in the fifth minute when senior right back Paul Kirdorf went at a tackle too hard, and received an early yellow. Being a key part on defense the Leathernecks needed to be careful and not make any mistakes, but that did not happen.

In the 12th minute of the game the Leathernecks fouled inside the box and allowed for a penalty kick opportunity. Junior forward Tomar Zloczower put the attempt away to put a single tally on the scoreboard.

The game never got better for the Leathernecks and even two minutes later the Phoenixes had another chance in the box. The shot rattled off the left post and stayed out, but scared goalkeeper Tim Trilk nevertheless.

Western’s first equalizer opportunity came off a corner attempt from senior defensive back Jamison Kozar. His header challenged Green Bay’s keeper Jamison Yoder. That opportunity did not go through and the Leathernecks were looking to go into the halftime down by one.

Meanwhile Green Bay never stopped attacking. They applied pressure with their forwards, and after a mistake by the backline sophomore midfielder Bernard Assibey stole a pass headed for Trilk and chipped the ball into the right corner. It was costly mistake for the Leathernecks as they went into halftime trailing by not one but two goals.

The difficult performance from Trilk earned him a trip to the bench and a sub as Tim Hansen took over the goalie responsibilities from there on out. The Leathernecks had only one shot on goal in the second half and could not overcome the deficit. In fact, all but only one shot on goal came off of corner attempts.

The lack of offense was the obvious flaw in the Leathernecks game and needs to be worked on if they hope to end with a winning record. The Leathernecks were not finished competing over the weekend and took on the Bowling Green Falcons on Sunday.

It was another hot afternoon for the men’s soccer teamas they looked to get their first win at home against a formidable opponent. Bowling Green was also looking for their first win of the season. Both teams fought tooth and nail for the entire 90 minutes.

The Leathernecks challenged first with Ahrian Mehrang and Daniel Kadima challenging experienced Falcon keeper Anthony Mwembia. However, it was Bowling Green that scored first. A great ball to the middle getting past Western’s back line, freshman Vinny Worner found the back of the net for the first time this year.

The rest of the first half was all Bowling Green, as they recorded seven more shots and dominated possession.

It wasn’t long until they scored their second goal after Chris Sullivan took a pass in the middle and muscled his way past the defenders to laser a shot into the back-left corner. The Leathernecks went into halftime down two for the second time this weekend.

“Bowling Green was really good in the first half,” director of soccer Eric Johnson said. “Their off the ball running was top shelf. I thought we showed some heart in the second half but it was too little too late. It’s very difficult to win a soccer game if you don’t match the work rate of your opponent.” Johnson said.

Coming out of half time Bowling Green had all the momentum and used it to put pressure on the Purple and Gold. On a corner attempt from Sullivan, senior defensive back Moe Mustafa rose over a leatherneck defensive back and headed the ball past Trilk. The Falcons now with three goals recorded, relaxed and waited for the final whistle.

The Leathernecks’ offense seemed dead and unwilling to fight. Then in the 72nd minute Paul Kirdorf fired a shot from way outside the box that left Mwembia rooted to the ground, as he watched the ball roll into the back left corner. The first goal of the season for Kirdorf shot a jolt of energy into the feet of the Leathernecks.

Now with a renewed sense of energy they challenged the falcon’s back line and in the 82 minutes earned a foul in the box for a penalty kick attempt

Free kick specialist Kirdorf took the shot and put the ball just above Mwembia’s right hand as he dove to the left. Kirdorf tallied one more on the day and the team looked to tie it up and send it into overtime. Bowling Green fought back a little more and did not give any more ground and the Leathernecks only got one more shot off.

The comeback effort was not enough and Western lost the second matchup of the weekend. They hope to bounce back this Saturday at home against Dayton University.