Petkevicius Breaks Shutout Record, UIS Battles Elements in Win against Cardinals


Photographs courtesy of Randy E. Blue

University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) men’s soccer freshman Pijus Petkevicius broke the UIS Division II single-season shutout as UIS battled the elements during Sunday’s 2-0 weather-shortened Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) matchup against William Jewell College at Kiwanis Stadium.

      Petkevicius saved the only shot he faced during 70 minutes, 39 seconds in goal. The Vilnius, Lithania native posted his sixth shutout of the season, breaking the school record set by Tommy Geile in 2017. Petkevicius ranks second in UIS Division II history with six career shutouts.

      Both teams dealt with the complications of inclement weather. With 7 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first half, the match was suspended in a lightning delay for 1 hour and 32 minutes. The match was called with 19 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the match due to lightning in the area.

    “These matches are difficult with the lightning delays, but credit our players as they managed to figure it out and find another much-needed win,” UIS coach Adam Hall said.

   “It was a scrappy match overall with the weather delay, but the boys did well in staying focused at the task at hand and getting the win,” UIS forward Quentin Reese added.

    During the eighth minute, UIS’s Josh Moore made a long upfield pass to Mario Falsone. Falsone put the shot on frame, but it was saved by William Jewell goalkeeper Quinn Ruggeri.

    The Prairie Stars (6-4-2, 5-2-1) found the scoreboard 16 minutes into the match. Daniel Kemp capitalized off a corner kick from Falsone for the score. “I’m extremely pleased to get my first goal for the team after a great ball from Mario,” Kemp acknowledged. Falsone has another strong look 21 minutes into the match, but his shot was saved.

     Noah Espinosa came up with an interception for William Jewell 26 minutes into the match. He put a shot on target, but Petkevicius shut down the shot.

    The Cardinals created a strong opportunity during the 44th minute. Espinosa delivered a cross to Sam Gettings, but the cross was long.

     During the 67th minute, Fernando Sanz de Galdeano served a pass into the box. Adrian Ortega received the pass and dumped the ball to Reese, who netted a goal. Sanz de Galdeano and Ortega earned assists.

     “I’m happy to get on the scoresheet and help the team stay on track in the GLVC,” Reese commented.

      Kemp and Falsone each led the Prairie Stars as they put up three shots apiece, including two shots on goal each. Edward Rose, Alex Morais, and Moore tallied two shots apiece. Ortega and Reese each registered a shot on goal while Thiago Fernandes and Dan Mahony added shots.

        Charlie Parrish produced two shots for the Cardinals. Espinosa notched a shot on goal while Will Davis and Griffin King each delivered shots.

     Ruggeri served as William Jewell’s goalkeeper for 70 minutes, 39 seconds, saw six shots and came up with four saves. UIS outshot William Jewell 16-5 and held a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal.

      The University of Southern Indiana (8-2-1, 6-1-1) leads the GLVC standings while Maryville University (6-2-2, 5-1-1) holds second and is a half game out of first. At one game out of first, UIS is tied for third with the University of Indianapolis (9-2-1, 5-2-1), ranked No. 12 in the latest United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA Division II poll.

      UIS battles Drury University (2-8-2, 2-5-1) in a GLVC matchup on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield, MO. The Prairie Stars then take on Missouri S&T (3-8, 3-5) for a GLVC matchup on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Rolla, Mo.

   “It was a great team performance and we battled,” Kemp stated. “I’m looking forward to the matches against Drury and Missouri S&T next weekend.”