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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Men’s soccer finishes season at MWC tournament

The squirrels and rabbits are not the only ones who have enjoyed the Indian summer, as the Grinnell Men’s Soccer Team nearly pulled off their second consecutive Conference championship. The men played a tightly contested semifinals match versus Carroll University in Ripon, Wisconsin, losing by a tally of 3-1.

The Pioneers struck first, scoring in the 12th minute with a penalty kick from Mark Rosenberg ’11, which was his fifth successful PK of the season. Carroll came right back at the 17th minute with a goal from Jordan Wickman. The teams then played a nailbiting first half and even tighter second half. Finally in the 78th minute and then again in the 85th minute Steve Koprowski made the pivotal kicks to give Carroll a 3-1 victory.

“I think the turning point in the game was about 30 minutes into the second half, we’d dominated the first part of the second half,” Rosenberg said. “Had we gotten a goal, we would’ve gone on to win the game, but unfortunately we didn’t and I think once they regained even footing in the midfield, they gained the momentum.”

The team had their opportunities early in the second half and seemed to be more in control.

“I thought we were going to pull it out, we had a lot of chances in the second half to come back, but it just didn’t go our way, we couldn’t pull it out,” said Reed Caron ’13.

Once Koprowski scored, the momentum of the match was changed for good, as Grinnell’s men seemed unable to relax after Carroll’s second goal and panicked, allowing their opponents to double their lead.

“That second goal kind of took the wind out of our sails, and took us out of our game,” said Alex Bolinger ’14. “We began to rush things and force things, which resulted in the third goal and a loss for us.”

Despite the loss, the team demonstrated talent and determination, “We ended playing our hearts out and that’s really all I can ask of myself and the rest of the team,” said Andrew Mullins ’11.

The team as a whole is widely satisfied with how the season played out considering the nine seniors that they graduated last year and all the younger players that were forced into larger roles.

“I thought the team was not very cohesive at the beginning of the season with a lot of new guys on the team,” Mullins said. “We managed to find that cohesiveness as the season went on and by the end we were a tight group of guys.”

One game that the team could look back on as a particularly shining moment and sign of their camaraderie and perseverance was that against Ripon College early in the season.

“Beating Ripon on the road when we were both 5-0 was a tremendous win. We had driven seven hours the night before to get up there and it was just a great team win,” Caron said. “It was the classic GC win, where they were outshooting us, but we just held our composure.”

Looking back on the whole season, the team couldn’t have been happier with the way the first-years acclimated to college-level soccer. The contributions came from Omeed Kashef ’14, Adrian Alston-Moore ’14 and many others on and off the green.

“I thought every freshman did a tremendous job of just coming in and meshing as a team,” Caron said.

One first-year that had a significant impact as a starter and was thoroughly impressed by how the team managed to come together, as well as the differences in playing college soccer as opposed to high school, was Alex Bolinger. “Comparing this year to high school is just crazy. The pace of the game is so much faster, as well as the players being much more agile and adept with the ball.”

The game last Saturday marked the end of the soccer careers of several superb kickers, one of which was given high honors for his work on and off the field. Mark Rosenberg M/F was awarded the ESPN Magazine and College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Award.

“It’s an honor to have received the award, it feels great because the award recognizes both athletic and academic achievements, which, as a Grinnell student, is the type of diverse accomplishment I cherish most,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg’s accomplishments as a Pioneer included ranking second in school history in assists and in the top ten in both goals and points.

Sprinting ahead to next fall, the team will need to see their younger players step up as they have in the past three seasons.

“We’re losing our three leading scorers from this season, we’re losing two of our most creative players, so having guys step up will be important, but I know players like Charlie Kessner [’12], Omeed Kashef, and others will be able to step up and fill that void,” Rosenberg said.

Overall, the team is very hopeful for next season, which they believe will bring another milestone in the program.

“We are all going to have step up our game, just try to improve in the offseason and there’s no telling what next season could bring,” Caron said.

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