Friday, October 12, 2012

‘Blacked-out’ crowd isn’t enough

By Brandon Adam, Guest Writer

The Lutes held a 2-1 lead over cross-town rival Puget Sound Friday with four minutes remaining in regulation, but were unable to hold the lead.

Junior forward Derek Johnson dribbles in the first half of Friday’s game while junior midfielder Giancarlo Santoro pursues. Johnson scored hix sixth goal of the season in the fourth minute. Photo by Thomas Soerenes.

The Loggers scored on a cross in the 86th minute that led to a 2-2 draw. Lutes soccer players were disappointed in the result of Friday’s game.

“I don’t think we played very good today,“ junior defender Jeff Piaquadio said. “We’re a much better team than they are.” Lutes felt like they had the talent to beat their rivaled team, but their performance proved otherwise.

“It was probably not our best performance,” head coach John Yorke said. “At our best we might have had a better result.”

After Puget Sound scored late in regulation, neither team was able to able to score in two overtime periods.

“Giving up a late goal was not what we really wanted to do,” Yorke said.

The game started well for the Lutes. A third minute goal, scored by junior forward Derek Johnson from 25 yards out, assisted by sophomore forward Emmanuel Amarh, gave the Lutes a 1-0 lead in the first half. The Loggers eventually scored at the 50-minute mark to draw the score even at 1-1. PLU regained the lead in the 72nd minute.

Senior forward Shane Gutierrez took a free kick that was awarded to the Lutes after a collision between Amarh and the Loggers goal-keeper. Gutierrez passed the free kick to Amarh who found the back of the net.

The fans wore black as part of a promotion by the athletic department. Lute fans began their antics by cheering and jeering minutes before the match. The bright sunset hindered the view of the audience for the majority of the match. The energy of the fans waned as the Lutes’ offense slowed in the middle of the first half.

“We struggled to really put the pressure on their forwards,” junior goal keeper Joe Rayburn said. “There’s always things we can improve on.”

Rayburn made some nice saves for the Lutes defense, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Lutes.
“I thought for the most part we approached the game a little bit better defensively,” Rayburn said.

The spirit of the 350 fans’ energy picked up again in hopes of the Lutes scoring a game-winning overtime goal , but to no avail.

Pacific Lutheran will get another chance against Puget Sound Nov. 3.

The Lutes host Whitman tomorrow and first-place Whitworth Sunday. Both games are set to begin at 2:30 p.m.

The Lutes and Whitworth shared the Northwest Conference title last season.