Seniors recognized at last home game of the season
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Prairie Star seniors from the men’s and women’s soccer teams were recognized Sunday afternoon before they took on Truman State in a GLVC match. The game served as the last time the seniors will play at Kiwanis Stadium as a Prairie Star.
Of those a recognized were Rachel Nuedahl, Katlin Peterson, Keriann Warak, Hannah Fyfe, Ashley Stariha, Jack Turanchik, Mark Czarny, Nicolas Alonso del Moral, and Andrew Reutiman.
For the women’s game, the Truman State Bulldogs were the first on the board as Megan Frkovic sent the ball into the box off a corner kick. The ball found Jade Shinn inside the six-yard box who put the ball in the net at the 21:12 mark to give them a 1-0 lead over the Prairie Stars. Junior goalie Robin Damron kept the Bulldogs from further scoring, making a save in the 37th minute.
In the second half, the Prairie Stars made adjustments to help in the attacking third to try and score. However, they did not find a goal and the Bulldogs added three more to their lead, finishing the game with a score of 4-0 over the Prairie Stars.
After the game, head coach Molly Grisham said, “I thought we made some great adjustments in the second half to get in the attack a little more but when we make changes to be more in the attacking half we don’t lose our defense and I believe that is what happened.” Although Grisham came late to UIS and didn’t get to know the seniors until preseason she is still proud of the work they have given and their commitment to the team.
Fyfe commented after the game that she was sad and wished she could come back next year but she is happy with the progress the team has made over the last four years and the legacy the seniors have left behind. Fyfe said, “It (the team) had its ups and downs but I feel that I am leaving on a good note and I’m happy the way we have improved as a team.”
The men’s team played next as they got off to an early lead in the third minute when Alonso del Moral sent the ball into the box off a corner kick. Sophomore Mark Williams hit the ball with his head and sent the ball past Bulldog keeper Drew Garrone. The Prairie Stars could not score another goal, but kept the Bulldogs from scoring.
In the end, the lone goal by Williams was all that was needed. UIS beat Truman State 1-0. This gives the UIS men’s team a 6-8 GLVC record.
“It was senior day and a lot of guys had things to play for,” said head coach Jesse Miech. “They played well and they earned the win.” Miech said it’s been great working with the seniors over the past few years. “We’ve had our ups and downs we’ve had our learning moments, our frustrating moments, moments of pure joy, but looking back on it all these men have done a lot for the program.” Miech thinks that the win over Truman State was a great way to send off the seniors.
Alonso del Moral described his last game at UIS as a special game. Alonso is proud of the team because they helped each other win the game and it was special to him. Alonso said that his experience at UIS was amazing. “From my first day here I have to thank coaches Max and Jesse for treating me really well. It was difficult to come to another country were you don’t have your family and friends to support you and they made me feel like I was at home.”
The Prairie Stars have their last game of the season Wednesday night as they face McKendree College. While the women’s season will come to an end, it is still possible for the men’s team to make it to the conference tournament.