Win gives Lions national ranking
Lindenwood mens’ soccer is now ranked No. 21 in NCAA Div. II after beating the University of Upper Iowa 1-0, Sept. 22, at Hunter Stadium.
The Lions are now 5-1-2 overall and 2-0-1 in the MIAA, while the Peacocks are 3-5-0 and 1-2-0 in the MIAA.
The first half ended tied at zero, with both teams having two shots.
Lindenwood sophomore midfielder Hernan Gonzalez entered the game for the first time at the beginning of the second half. He scored game winning goal off a rebound during the 72nd minute. The shot deflected off a Peacock defender before getting past junior goalkeeper Jordan Bell.
Lindenwood head coach Carl Hutter said his team made positive changes during halftime.
“There was good momentum, good build up, we had really good composure in the second half moving the ball and keeping possession,” Hutter said. “Opposite of that in the first half. We were trying to do those things, but we were moving the ball to slowly. We just weren’t on the same page.”
LU outshot the Peacocks 14-3 overall. The Lions bench had three of the team’s 14 shots. Upper Iowa’s bench did not take any shots.
Lindenwood sophomore forward Daniel Fernandez said there was more open space during the Upper Iowa game than during LU’s previous game against Truman State University.
“This team was more technical instead of physical,” Fernandez said. “So Truman was like fighting, jumping, catching. Today was more like moving the ball, going side-to-side, trying to move the ball. It was much, not easier, but kind of our game.”
Lindenwood freshman goalkeeper Fermin Hughes had one save against Upper Iowa. The win was Hughes’ third shutout of the season.
Gonzalez said the team effort was the key to victory.
“We put every effort possible in the field, so everything is fair for us to have a win in this game,” Gonzalez said.
LU will be on the road for its next three games, starting at No. 9 ranked Fort Hays State University.
Hutter said despite his team being ranked, he still sees improvements which need to be made.
“We still have moments where it looks almost like a Jekyll and Hyde thing,” Hutter said. “We’re this way, and then we’re that way. But, the good think is they keep working hard. They don’t get rattled when we have criticism on them, because it is always real constructive. It is a good challenge. It is a good working process, and we are just trying to get better each time we play.”