Men’s soccer team claims 4-straight wins, record now 6-2

Joseph Craker, Staff Writer

The Madison College men’s soccer team has won four-straight matches, including a 7-0 victory against Illinois Valley Community College on Sept. 16, behind an historic four-goal day for striker Dejesus Herrera.

The last home match of the calendar summer felt more like the day the season began as the players took the field on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon.  The 0-7-1 Eagles had been floundering for the majority of the season, and were looking to kick off the second half of their campaign on the right track. 

On the other hand, Madison College, at 5-0-2, were certainly seeking to maintain their momentum towards a high seed in the NJCAA Region IV Quarterfinals starting in October.

From the kickoff, it was clear that only one side would be coming away with the game.  The WolfPack immediately began dominating possession through the midfield and breaking through the Eagles’ back line. A few shots were attempted but dealt with early on, however the inevitable breakthrough came when Dejesus Herrera hit the back of the net after Will Hamilton played him through.

Seconds later, another beautiful pass came this time from Logan Carstens through the midfield.  Again, Herrera was in prime position to put the chance away to make it 2-0 within the first eight minutes.

Eager for more, the WolfPack forward got off the line a bit too quickly and was called for offsides twice before timing it right in the 12th minute.  The ball came through from Brandon Griffin, and Herrera weaved through the opposition defense before finishing cooly and claiming his hat trick in the bottom right corner.  A minute later, Herrera returned the favor for Griffin to make it 4-0 for the WolfPack.

The bombardment on IVCC’s net continued for the rest of the half.  In the 39th minute, substitute Eder Lavariega scored his first goal of the season and the WolfPack’s fifth of the half through an assist from Abel Araya.  The Eagles found some small semblance of success down the flanks, but were repelled all but twice.  Their first successful attack ended with an attempt on goal from Jayden Pinter, but the shot was off target.  The second led to a corner, but was easily dealt with by the WolfPack.

The second half began nearly identically to the first.  By the 48th minute the score was 6-0 after Dejesus Herrera became just the fifth player in the program’s history to score four goals in a single match. It was also his ninth of the season. 

In the 58th minute, Brandon Griffin tallied his fifth goal of the season and his second of the game from the penalty spot, capping off the scoring for the day as well as another magnificent performance from Madison College. 

The WolfPack coasted for the rest of the game, content with playing the ball around the back until the final whistle.

Madison College plays Joliet Junior College at home on Sept. 26 and then hosts Harper College on Sept. 28. The WolfPack are now 6-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.