Anyways, after a fantastic win away to Cleveland State, we had the next week to prepare for first-place challenging Wright State at Engelmann on the upcoming Saturday. It was a good week of preparation and despite the weather conditions, everyone was raring to go against a top side in our conference. After a hard fought first half, we went into the locker room one nil down, but we had looked confident and still had high hopes of coming away with a result. We took the beginning of the second half by the scruff of the neck and got our reward through Evan Conway who tied it up at one apiece. Against the run of play Wright State regained the lead, but not for long before Jaime Colin put the ball into the back of the goal off a low cross from captain Jason Svensson. At the end of 90 minutes it was knotted at two goals each, but we all knew we deserved three points. With that belief, came a sudden death goal from Evan Conway just under five minutes into overtime! It was potentially our biggest win of the season, and teams around the league were really starting to take notice of our recent results and performances.
That game gave us even more confidence leading up to our next Horizon League game in ‘Motor City’ against the University of Detroit Titans. We had another full week to recover and prepare for the trip to Detroit, which was another crucial match where we expected nothing less than three points. Arriving to the match, most of us knew the atmosphere wasn’t going to be great so we were determined to make something out of nothing and create a positive environment for ourselves. We took control of the match from the start, and despite a defensive error and going down a goal fairly early, we continued to create lots of chances and looked very dangerous. Nick Moon scored our lone goal of the half, and we went into half time wanting even more. Reid Stevenson found himself in the right place at the right time to find our game winner, and Evan Conway found himself on the score sheet yet again. A convincing away win against a very tough opposition who looked to get the ball in the air as much as possible, it was a very positive ride home back to MKE.
After two full weeks of preparing for the past two matches, we had a quick turn around against in-state rivals Wisconsin-Madison. Madison is a top side amongst division one this season, and were making a name for themselves amongst the top schools with some good results and resounding performances. However, we knew we were in a very good place with some great performances on our backs, and we were all eager to test ourselves against some of the best around the nation. The air was brisk, and it felt like a true late October night, and the game started off a bit slow where each team assessed the other out. The match picked up in the second half, and chances occurred at each end, with Freddy Lorenzen coming up with two spectacular saves. Big time keepers come up in big time games when the team isn’t playing at the top of their game, and Freddy made sure to give us the best chance possible to carve something out of this one. The match ended nil-nil through overtime, but we showed resilience and proved we weren’t going to be merely pushed aside like many may have thought prior to the match up.
Our attention turned back to conference play, where we’d slowly moved our way up the rankings and were fighting for a top spot. IUPUI were up next at home, and they’d struggled throughout the season to pick up results, but we knew they’d be playing without any pressure and we were ready for the fight. Another brisk night at Engelmann, where we honored our four seniors Magnus Flaatedal, Nick Moon, Reid Stevenson, and Jonathan Stadler, who are big time leaders for our group in different ways and have shown that from the beginning of my career at UWM and throughout this season. We took control of this one from the very beginning, and both Jaime Colin and Evan Conway found the goal yet again early on in the match, and our dominance continued. Jake Kelderman opened up his account for the season after getting on the end of a Vuk Latinovich set piece, and from there it was a comfortable win that could have ended with plenty more goals for us.
Now, we look forward to our final match of the season in Michigan against the Oakland Grizzlies, who are fighting for postseason action as we fight for a top seed in hope of potentially hosting the conference tournament. Things are looking more positive than they have all season long, and we want to do our best to extend our season for as long as possible! Thanks for tuning in yet again, and hopefully there’s a lot more to celebrate come my next entry!