Lakeland fights to tie in season opener
Athletics - posted on 9/1/2009
SHEBOYGAN - Lakeland freshman Jacob Kleinschmidt's first career goal, scored in the 85th minute, helped the Lakeland men's soccer team to a 2-2 tie against Northland International in the Muskies' season opener on Tuesday afternoon at Lakeland.
The Muskies (0-0-1) collected the ball in front of the net following a deep goal kick by goalkeeper Ross Soukup. After Northland keeper David Bartholomew deflected a shot, Kleinschmidt (Neenah) was right there for the rebound and put it away on the right side.
Neither team created much offense in the two overtimes.
After surrendering a goal just under two minutes into the second half, Lakeland pushed to gain the momentum and even the score as time dwindled off the regulation clock.
"Our guys worked their socks off," Lakeland head coach David Madsen said. "We had a rough result in our last scrimmage on Friday, so it's good to see us come out and play with the intensity that we did. On top of that, I think the guys felt a personal responsibility for the way they were playing out there."
In the first half, Lakeland responded with a goal of its own just three minutes after the Pioneers (0-0-1) took a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Joey Salazar launched a free kick in front of the goal, where senior Ryan Malo found sophomore Ben Koepsell, who put it in the back of the net.
Madsen was pleased with the team's effort, especially considering the Muskies lost to this very team 3-0 early last season.
"We've been trying to find the right mix of things going out on the field, and I think we're on to something now," Madsen said. "I think the guys have a good sense of it. We've kind of figure out where our strengths lie, and now we can best take advantage of that."
Soukup, a Plymouth native, posted eight saves to anchor the Muskie defense.
Lakeland returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 12, for the team's Northern Athletics Conference opener at Benedictine. Game time is set for 1 p.m. in Lisle, Ill.
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