The Prairie Fire glanced with envy at their opponent’s celebration on their field, regretting each shot that passed their goalie.
Knox (2-9-1) lost on Sunday at home when St. Norbert College (3-7) shut them down 4-0. For the Prairie Fire, this marked the second consecutive loss at home in the last three games; they lost 4-1 to Lawrence University on Saturday.
The offense for Knox was nonexistent until the second half, when the team’s ball movement improved. However, their late sportsmanship could not replicate their opponent’s offensive tear, sealing their loss to a team coming in with a similar record.
“The first half was a complete loss of focus and intensity; it started with the intensity and it would give the [opponent] team the opportunity to move the ball around, for a little too long. They capitalized on it,” said men’s soccer head coach Kevwe Akpore. “So, now we have a focus issue and an intensity issue after two goals. It was tough for them to get out of it.”
St. Norbert College’s senior Mike Burmesh began the game with an unassisted goal in the first eight minutes of play to give the opponent an early lead. However, with 24:43 minutes into the game, sophomore Wade Howard executed another unassisted goal. This goal gave St. Norbert a 2-0 advantage. A while later, Mike Burmesh re-emerged with Wade Howard kicking the ball to him to score the assisted goal, giving St. Norbert a 3-0 lead.
But St. Norbert was not yet content with their lead. After scoring an early goal, Wade Howard once again enhanced his team’s performance with another unassisted goal during the first half before halftime. This goal tranquilized Knox’s hopes to catch on with their opponent. They went on to win 4-0.
The Prairie Fire had a quick turnaround, heading to Rock Island, Ill. on Tuesday night for a game with non-conference opponent Augustana College. The Vikings dominated from start to finish, limiting the Prairie Fire to only two shots-both on goal. Augustana had 13 shots on goal, and 30 in general. The Vikings are now 4-6-1 on the season.
The Prairie Fire will now focus on their upcoming road schedule Illinois College on Oct. 9 before returning home to face Grinnell College on Oct. 10. The game on Sunday against the Pioneers will begin at 11 a.m. at Jorge Prats Field.