Men's Soccer Come Up Short in IIAC Tournament Title Game
Nov 6, 2015
#6 Billy Belmonte was a mere inches away from tying up the game in the second half of the 2015 IIAC Tournament Championship game.
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque men's soccer team put five of their six shots on goal, but couldn't overcome a Loras goal early in the second half as they fall, 1-0, in the 2015 Iowa Conference Tournament title game on Friday night.
Despite facing 24 Duhawk shots, UD goalkeeper Riley Jensen, played stellar defense after posting eight saves. Possibly playing in his final game, the senior survived an early offensive onslaught by the Duhawks that featured an array of saves, off-target shots from close proximity, and corner kicks galore. The Duhawks (14-4-1, 7-0 IIAC) opened up the scoring off a Jensen save in the 50th minute that re-entered the box and found the left corner.
The Spartans faced an uphill battle on both sides of the ball after a Spartan red card at the 64-minute mark left UD a man short. In a physical battle, both players competed for possession of the ball as a Duhawk went down to draw the card.
Limited opportunities faced the Spartans to start off the second, but their offense found life with a pair of free kicks as the clock neared the final 15 minutes. Senior Billy Belmonte launched a shot right at the goalie after a defender fell in an attempt to break up a pass in the 75th. Free kick maestro Gonzalo Hernandez launched a bender in the 78th from 30+ yards out that just curled past the goal.
It wasn't enough to overcome the 24-6 shot advantage and 7-1 corner kick deficit the Spartans accrued throughout the night.
The Spartans (12-6-1, 5-2 Iowa Conference) kept the game scoreless going into the break after seeing both of their shots on goal by Gonzalo Hernandez and Tom Murphy. On a one-on-one run up the left side, Hernandez saw his shot saved near the left post. Murphy's shot was right at the goalie from 30+ yards out.
Awaiting a possible at-large bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III Tournament, the Spartans faced many ranked regional opponents this season which may help in their consideration when the selections are announced early next week. The seniors have put together an impressive four-year record for wins and hope to continue in the NCAA tournament.