Central men topple another top-10 soccer program

PELLA — A muddy field didn’t slow the Central College men’s soccer team as it completed a clean sweep of top-10 opponents this season with a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Loras College Saturday afternoon.

The Dutch (10-1-1, 2-0-0 American Rivers Conference) had also beaten No. 8 Luther College 2-1 last Saturday. It’s the first victory for Central over Loras (9-3-1, 1-1-0 conference) since October 22, 2008.

“I absolutely couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “This team continues to amaze me, especially for the amount of youth we have on it and what they have been able to pull off.”

Loras got out to an early lead with a goal at the 12:02 mark. Central quickly answered less than two minutes later with a Nathan Casas (sophomore, midfielder Cottage Grove, Minn., East Ridge HS) goal at 13:47. He was assisted by defender Taylor Petkovich (senior, Littleton, Colo., Heritage HS).

“The first goal had a great serve from Taylor,” Laidlaw said. “He did a good job of keeping it low and that allowed Nathan get his foot on the ball and he flicked it beautifully.”

Midfielder Tony Cervelli (sophomore, Plainfield, Ill., South HS) gave Central a 2-1 lead in the 32nd minute with an assist from midfielder Zach Worster (sophomore, St. Peters, Mo., St. Dominic HS).

“Tony seems to find himself in the right place at the right time,” Laidlaw said.

The game-winning goal was credited to midfielder Matthew West (freshman, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS) when he scored in the 50th minute on an assist from forward Charlie Pritchard (freshman, Ankeny). Five of West’s seven goals this season have featured assists from Pritchard.

“Those two have combined in that very same manner before,” Laidlaw said. “Charlie hit a great cross in and Matthew did what he’s been doing all year: he just puts himself in the right place and finishes the goal.”

Goalkeeper Andrew Mathys (senior, Elburn, Ill., Kaneland HS) had five saves, including four in the second half. Earning his 10th win of the season, he is just the eighth Central goalie to secure 10 victories in a season.

Heavy rain has drenched Pella for the last week, leaving the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex soccer field drenched. The Central and Loras women’s teams played before the men’s game, leaving the field in poor condition.

“In truth, the pitch conditions were far from ideal for a collegiate soccer match,” Laidlaw said. “Credit to our administration, Loras and the officials for working together to make the best of a difficult situation.

“We simply didn’t have any other viable options given the circumstances and our upcoming schedules. We all agreed once we committed to playing, we would live with the results.”

Central will go to Lincoln, Nebraska on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. match against Nebraska Wesleyan University.

“At the end of the day, this is just three points,” Laidlaw said. “We’ve secured nothing, yet. Every match is worth the same amount of points and so we’ll need to come in focused for that game and earn another three points.”

Posted by on Oct 6 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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