Anna Zander, Apsorts Information Director
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Iowa Wesleyan men’s soccer team upset the number one team in the conference for the second time this season. With a 2-1 victory over Spalding, the Tigers historic season continues as they become the first team at Iowa Wesleyan to compete in the championship match of the SLIAC conference tournament.
The Tigers were the first to strike on offense, scoring the first goal of the game inside of three minutes into the match. Mariano Mateo Mareno gave Iowa Wesleyan a 1-0 advantage with a goal on a free kick with 2:41 on the clock. Spalding evened the the match at 1-1 with a goal just over the twelve minute mark.
Iowa Wesleyan did not let the goal phase them as they continued to attack on offense. With 28:54 on the clock, Francisco Saldana put the Tigers back on top. Fabian Arvizu Sanchez was able to get a pass through the Spalding defense, and Saldana was able to get the ball under the goalie to give IW a 2-1 advantage. Each team had several chances as the half continued, but Saldana’s goal would be the last of the opening period. The Tigers recorded three more shots than the Golden Eagles, finishing with 10 shots in the first half.
In the second half, Iowa Wesleyan controlled the ball on offense. The Tigers had numerous opportunities to give themselves some breathing room but they were unable to find the back of the net. IW came up empty on back to back penalty kicks which could have come back to haunt them, but the defense stepped up and held the Golden Eagles scoreless in the final half. Iowa Wesleyan outshot Spalding 10-1 in the final period.
Chris Rimmer recorded three saves in 90 minutes of action. Elicier Urena and Mariano Mateo Mareno led the Tiger offense with three shots on goal on four shots in the match. Jennier Farfan also added three shots on goal for the Tigers in the win.
Iowa Wesleyan advances to the championship game on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. They will take on Greenville University at 2pm in Greenville, Illinois. The Tigers are now 9-11-1 on the season.