The Clarion

WolfPack rallies to win

Men’s soccer team starts conference season out strong

The+rainy+weather+ended+just+in+time+for+the+Madison+College+men%E2%80%99s+soccer+team%E2%80%99s+game+against+Rock+Valley+College+on+Sept.+5.
The rainy weather ended just in time for the Madison College men’s soccer team’s game against Rock Valley College on Sept. 5.

The rainy weather ended just in time for the Madison College men’s soccer team’s game against Rock Valley College on Sept. 5.

The rainy weather ended just in time for the Madison College men’s soccer team’s game against Rock Valley College on Sept. 5.

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Two second-half goals gave the Madison College men’s soccer team a 3-1 victory against visiting Rock Valley College on Sept. 5.

It was the third season in a row that Cory Sim’s squad scored a victory in their first conference match.

Madison College, 2-1-0 on the season, got off to a bright start under cloudy skies and floodlights at Goodman Pitch – East.

In just the fourth minute of play, the WolfPack broke onto the attack. A beautiful ball was played into the 6-yard box by wide defender Will Hamilton, and hometown forward Dejesus Herrera managed to get on the end of the cross and bundle the ball over the line for a 1-0 lead.

After the opening goal, the majority of the half was cagey at best for both teams. It was evident that Madison College was looking to protect its lead from defense, and rarely got too far up the pitch with sufficient numbers for attack.

Similarly, the Golden Eagles looked determined to not go down another goal so early in the match.

Late in the first half, Rock Valley College saw a glimpse of success from consecutive corners. The first found a waiting Noel Irampaye, who struck a great volley at the top of the penalty area, which forced a strong save from WolfPack keeper Saxon LaFlash at his back post. The second required a headed clearance from the 6-yard box by defender Nikolas Schebig.

To start the second half, Madison College began dominating the midfield. A patient defense linked up well with WolfPack midfielders, who were sure-footed around the opposition. Although possession was a positive, Madison College was ultimately unable to supply its attackers with key passes.

Soon after the 56th minute, the Golden Eagles got a second wind.

A barrage of attempts on goal came from the counterattack. The first shot narrowly flew over the bar from Pedro Acosta, and the second smashed off of the crossbar from the top of the box by Alberto Martinez.

Finally, in the 61st minute, a miscue from the WolfPack defense led to an open net for Martinez, who was more than happy to tap it home and tie the game, 1-1.

The Rock Valley College equalizer was a much-needed wake-up call for Madison College, which had been lacking urgency until this point. The team began looking for an answer straight from the kickoff, but over the next 15 minutes all four attempts from the WolfPack were off-target.

The ‘Pack kept the pressure up, and eventually wore down the Golden Eagle defense. A goal was tapped in from close range by sophomore Brandon Griffin after a marauding run from Will Hamilton, which started from midfield and beat three Golden Eagle defenders. This eventual game-winner capped an impressive match for Hamilton, who showed good composure on the ball and notched two assists on the day.

Seconds later, the match would be put to bed after a composed finish from Dejesus Herrera. This would be his fifth goal this season. Madison College ended the match with good possession and consecutive passes.

The next time to see the WolfPack at home will be this Sunday, Sept. 16, at Goodman Pitch – East.

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WolfPack rallies to win