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Senior Ben Koepsell scored his first career hat trick and the Lakeland College men's soccer team came up big in a 6-2 win over Wisconsin Lutheran College in Northern Athletics Conference action Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Muskies (6-7-3, 4-4-2 NAC) sharpened their NAC Tournament resume and look to fill in the No. 5 or No. 6 slot on Oct. 29.
Although Lakeland had the convincing victory, the Warriors struck first in the fifth minute of play to take a 1-0 lead. The Muskies answered in the 14th minute when Koepsell (Cedar Grove) scored off a free kick from senior Adam Benson (Anoka, Minn.) to tie the game at one.
Senior forward Jeremy Hardy (Cooks, Mich.) gave Lakeland the lead at the 23:51 mark on an assist from senior defender Bobby Rublee (Sheboygan). Benson would score in the 35th minute on an assist from senior Danny Spatchek (Chilton) to give the team a 3-1 advantage at halftime.
Koepsell capped two goals in the second half to lead Lakeland's attack. Hardy chipped in with another goal in the 66th minute for a convincing win.
Spatchek ended the game with two assists. Junior goalkeeper Alex Piekarski (Menasha) recorded five saves.
"Even though we gave up an early goal, I never thought we lost control of the game," said head coach Tony Pierce. "The guys stayed composed and kept plugging away. We got the goals we needed and now we are in a better position for making the NAC Tournament."
See what Koepsell says about his hat trick performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHjtRlcCpfA
Lakeland returns to action tomorrow as they host the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh in non-conference play at 1 p.m.