Men’s victory secures No. 1 or No. 2 seed in playoffs; women’s team ‘disappointed’
The men’s and women’s soccer teams enjoyed a double win on Saturday.
The men’s team (7-8-2, 5-1 SL) enjoyed a 2-1 double overtime victory against Indianapolis thanks to two goals scored by sophomore forward Jordan Rideout.
It was Rideout’s third overtime game-winner of the conference season, and Saturday’s victory guarantees the Roos the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Summit League playoffs.
The men’s team will compete against Western Illinois this Saturday in the last conference game before the playoffs.
The women’s team (6-9-4, 3-4-1 SL) finished its regular season on the road with a 1-0 win against South Dakota.
Both teams had up-and-down seasons.
The women’s team started strong, but fell off in the second half
On the other hand, the men’s team had a poor start, losing its first three regular season games, but the Roos turned things around by pulling off some vital conference victories, thanks largely to Rideout.
“Of course, scoring goals feels good, but my main objective is to help the team,” Rideout said.
The Roos play a difficult schedule because of 10 away games and competition against highly-respected teams like Creighton, Tulsa and Wisconsin.
“It is very challenging, but our mindset is positive,” Rideout said. “We know what we can achieve. We are very excited about the playoffs.”
At the beginning of the season, the team struggled to play the way Head Coach Rick Benben wanted. The team included nine new players.
“Adaptation was tough and it took a while for us to actually know each other and play as a team,” said junior defender Guerrero Pino.
Even though the women’s team ended the season with a victory, the overall record (6-9-4) is not what the Roos wanted.
“We are disappointed,” said Head Coach Chris Cissel. “We needed to end the season strongly and we did.”
One of the highlights of the season was Nina Tzianos, who replaced starting goalkeeper Jami Finnell in the middle of the season due to a severe knee injury that knocked her out for the season.
Tzianos quickly demonstrated that she could be trusted.
“At first I was intimidated because I am a freshman straight out of high school,” she said. “I was put in a tough situation [when Finnell was injured] so I just wanted to pick up where she left off.”
For sophomore midfielder Sophie Rackham the season did not live up to her expectations.
It was “disappointing to say the least,” she said.
Rackham is a U.K. native who played in the Women’s National Premier League.
Rackham said that she hopes that the Roos’ next season will be better.
“We worked tirelessly every day,” she said. “The results were not what we expected, but on the other hand, our team chemistry improved a lot.”