Lutes offense out-gunned 1-4, eliminated from playoffs
By Annie Norling, Guest Reporter
The Pacific Lutheran University men’s soccer team battled wind and rain but could not match the University of Redlands offense in the first round of the NCAA National Tournament. Redlands beat the Lutes 1-4 on Saturday.
The Lutes went into the match as the fourth seed in the four-team regional, which included Chapman, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and University of Redlands. Redlands was the first seed in the regional.
It did not take the Bulldogs long to score. In the 11th minute, Redlands’ All-American forward Cody Carlson maneuvered around the Lute defense and shot a rocket into the left corner of the net from 25 yards out.
The Lutes had a chance to tie the score when senior forward Spencer Augustin stepped between two defenders but was taken down in the Redlands’ box and was awarded a penalty kick.
Senior midfielder Surafel Wodajo stepped up to take the shot against Redlands’ goalie Andreas Silva. Wodajo took the shot and scored.
Redlands’ offense continued to control possession of the ball throughout the first half.
The Lute’s defender sophomore Joe Olenginski received a yellow-card in the 32nd minute after a missed tackle.
In the 36th minute, Redlands’ Alex Laughton turned on top of the Lute box and fired the ball into the upper corner past the outstretched arm of Lute keeper sophomore Joe Rayburn.
The first half finished with Redlands dominating 12-6 in shots and 2-1 in goals over the Lutes.
“We weren’t on our game against a very good attacking team,” said outside-back senior Tom Molyneux-Elliot.
The second half began similarly to the first with a Redlands goal in the 49th minute by Jamie Griffin.
Augustin tried to close the gap in the 65th minute when he broke down the Redlands defense and got a shot on goal, but Redlands’ goalie Silva tipped the ball over the bar.
In the final ten minutes of the game, Redland’s Charles Izydorek scored again in the 85th minute with a one-touch bullet into the net. This came just after a yellow-card on the Lutes’ forward senior Chad Kearns in the 84th minute.
Redlands maintained their 4-1 lead until the end of the match. The match ended with Redlands leading 26-10 overall in shots.
“It was disappointing how our season ended, but ultimately we accomplished what we set out to do when we first arrived at PLU four years ago,” senior forward Spencer Augustin said.
The Lutes ended their record-setting season as Northwest Conference Champions with a record of 15-4-0.
“It wasn’t just losing that hurt,” senior outside-back Aaron Grossberg said. “Knowing we wouldn’t have another chance to go out together one more time as a team was heart wrenching.”