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Blue Devils Battle in WHAC Semifinal but Come Up Short to No. 17 Indiana Tech

Blue Devils Battle in WHAC Semifinal but Come Up Short to No. 17 Indiana Tech

BRIGHTON, Mich.—The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University men's soccer team's (8-11-0) season came to an end on Thursday afternoon in the WHAC tournament semifinal match. After the November snow storm coated the outdoor fields in inches of snow, the Blue Devils and No. 17 Warriors of Indiana Tech. (15-4-1) met indoors at the Legacy Center Sports Complex in Brighton, Mich. In a game that showcased to the talent of two of the WHAC's top soccer programs, the Warriors edged out the Blue Devils by a score of 3-2.

It did not take long for the first goal of this match to be scored. The Warriors came out aggressive and had the ball deep in Blue Devil territory right away. In the 5th minute, the Indiana Tech. forward struck a ball from just inside the box to beat Max Jewett and give the Warriors an early 1-0 lead. The two teams battled for the next 35 minutes until either team was able to score. It was not until the 41st minute that a goal was scored again. Nico Rodriguez was taken down in the box and was granted a penalty kick. Rodriguez picked the right spot and beat the Warrior keeper, Rodriguez went right and the keeper went left. With the scored tied at 1-1, it appeared that the two teams would be going into halftime all knotted up, but Indiana Tech. was able to create one more scoring chance late in the first half and capitalized. In the 44th minute, the Warriors had a free kick from 25 yards out and they were able to get a head on the ball to direct it by Jewett for the second Indiana Tech goal of the game. That would be last of the goals in the first half, and the Blue Devils would be down 1-2 with one half remaining.

The second half saw the Blue Devils keep the ball deep in Warrior territory for the early part of the half, but the Warriors were able to steal the ball and push it down the field and struck again to go ahead 3-1. Down two goals the Blue Devils needed to find a way to capitalize on one of their eight second half shots. With less than seven minutes, the Blue Devils were able to pull within one. Alvaro Merino delivered a beautiful pass to the top of the box where Kevin Wright was, and Wright beat the Warrior keeper to make the score 3-2. The Blue Devils continued to press, and had a few more chances but were unable to capitalize and the game ended with the score in favor of the Warriors.

With the loss, the Blue Devils' season came to an end. They gave themselves a chance to win, and competed to the very end. Head Coach Will Dyer had this to say after the match, "I cannot thank the seniors enough for everything they have done for this program. They have a special place in my heart, and will always have a home here at LTU."