MOUNT PLEASANT – Michael Roberts (Sr.-St. Johns, Antigua) scored three times in the first half and the Iowa Wesleyan College men’s soccer team did its part to bunch up the Midwest Collegiate Conference men’s soccer standings even more with a 3-2 win over Clarke College Wednesday afternoon at East Lake Park.
Roberts took over the MCC individual goal scoring lead by scoring three straight goals in the first half, and the Tigers pulled closer to the Crusaders in the conference standings. IWC won for the third time in league play to improve to 3-3 in the MCC, 5-10 overall, while Clarke dropped to 3-3-1 in conference, 5-5-3 overall.
Wesleyan defeated the Crusaders despite being outshot by the visitors and also giving up a goal just 5:16 into the match, and another just before halftime. Clarke got on the board first in the match when Ian Hart scored unassisted in the sixth minute to make the score 1-0.
The Tigers responded just 14 seconds later, though, scoring immediately after the center circle kick. Chris Madigan (Fr.-Richmond, England) delivered a ball ahead to Jesus Soto (So.-Rockton, Ill.), who bounced a pass to Roberts. Roberts then redirected the ball with a header which found the back of the net to tie the score.
Roberts scored for the second time and gave the Tigers the lead just over 11 minutes later, scoring with an assist from Jake Pilger (Sr.-Burlington, Iowa) at 16:58 to make it 2-1. The two connected again in the 32nd minute, Pilger finding Roberts again to complete the hat trick for Roberts and open up a two-goal lead.
The Crusaders delivered a blow late in the first half that could have turned the match’s momentum. Clarke scored with just two seconds left in the first half, Fredrik Rost with the goal with an assist from Matthew Smith to make it 3-2 at the break.
The Tigers responded in the second half, though, holding off Clarke the rest of the way in a match where most of the second half play was near midfield. The teams combined for just two shots on goal in the second half, with the Crusaders posting a 5-2 edge in shots but placing just one on goal.
Troy Osborne (So.-Sydney, Australia) made three saves for his fifth win of the season for IWC. Roberts had five of the Tigers’ seven shots and three of its four shots on goal. Pilger had the other two shots for Wesleyan, which is currently tied with Clarke for fifth in the MCC standings and is one game out of fourth. Rost led Clarke with five shots, three on goal. The Crusaders had a 10-7 advantage in shots and a 5-4 lead in shots on goal in the match.
Iowa Wesleyan will step out of conference play on Saturday when it faces William Woods (Mo.) University. The match will be played at East Lake Park at 3 p.m.
For more information regarding the IWC soccer programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score IWC 3 Clarke 2