This past weekend, both Knox College soccer teams participated in the Midwest Conference Tournament. Both the men and the women’s teams were the #1 seed in their respective conferences. Though both teams were upset on their home field, they both also had great years.
The men’s team finished with a record of 15-4-2 overall and an 8-1 conference record. The team played a very competitive non-conference schedule.
The competitive schedule helped prepare them for the rigorous conference schedule that they have to play. The team faced a 15-6-1 Loras College team, a 13-5-3 Spalding University team and a 14-2-3 Wartburg college team. There’s the old saying that iron sharpens iron, well the Prairie Fire were a prime example of that.
The hardest non-conference team they competed against was #15 Centre College. Centre College went 16-3-1 overall with a 6-1 record in their conference play. The Colonels won their conference tournament and are headed to the NCAA tournament.
Facing the top-notch competition helped Knox start off strong in conference play. After starting 1-1 in conference play, the Prairie Fire rattled off seven consecutive conference victories to gain home-field advantage for the MWC tournament.
Knox played offense and defense at a very high level throughout the regular season and postseason. Knox scored 2.723 goals per game and allowed .95 goals per game. The Prairie Fire were second in both of the respective statistical categories.
The Prairie Fire also had a .898 goals-against average. As a team, Knox was one of the complete teams in the Midwest Conference this past season, and a disappointing end to the season doesn’t change that.
The Knox men’s soccer team will be graduating nine seniors this year. In addition to the loss of leadership, the Prairie Fire will also be losing a lot of production. Their three leading scorers – Adetayo Adefioye, Nick Janulis and Jun Min – are graduating.
Adefioye finished fifth in the conference in points per game, fourth in goals per game and second game-winning goals per game in the midwest conference.
Janulis, a captain, finished eighth in points per game, sixth in goals per game, and seventh in shots per game.
Min finished eighth in assists per game in the Midwest Conference and led Knox College in total assists.
Replacing those three seniors in addition to the six other seniors they’re losing won’t be easy. It’ll be on the now-juniors and sophomores to step up in both leadership and on-field production.
The women’s team had just as impressive of a season as well. The women’s team finished the 2019 season 13-5-3 overall and 7-1-1 in the conference. The women’s team played nine non-conference games before the start of the conference season. The Prairie Fire went 5-3-1 during that early stretch of the season.
After a tie against Ripon College in the first game of the season, the Prairie Fire won their next seven conference games before they tied against Cornell College. However, the game against Cornell was less significant as Knox had already wrapped up the conference.
In the first game of the Midwest Conference Tournament, the women’s team won 1-0 before losing in PKs against Monmouth.
Lydia Mitchell finished the season seventh in the Midwest Conference in goals per game and points per game while finishing eighth in assists per game.
Mitchell led the team in goals, assists and points per game. Alyx Farris was second on the team in points and goals.
The women’s team graduates five seniors, which makes up 26 percent of the roster.
Goalkeeper Katy Coseglia led the Midwest Conference in save percentage at 85.7 percent. Coseglia also had the lowest goals against average and the highest shutouts per game.
Both the women and men’s team didn’t get the result that they wanted, but their season should still be celebrated nonetheless.