Lakeland Defeats Ripon Behind Freshmen Duo
Oct. 11, 2003
Ripon, WI - The Lakeland College Muskie Men's Soccer Team defeated the Ripon College Red Hawks in an action-packed and physical 3-2 victory. The outstanding freshman duo of Scott Kress (Kiel) and Tyler Opichka (Green Bay) proved to be too much for the Red Hawks to handle.
Lakeland would get on the board first in the 29th minute when Ryan Holl's (Plymouth, IN) direct kick from about 40 yards out was tipped off of the cross bar by the Ripon keeper, giving Scott Kress the opportunity to bury it in the back of the net.
The rest of the half would be controlled by Ripon as the Muskie men got off of their game. Ripon would capitalize in the 39th minute as Tommy Becker beat two Lakeland defenders along the end line, and sent a pass to the top of the six-yard box, that was put home by Price Ward. The half ended locked at 1-1, and given the competitive nature of both teams an exciting second half was eagerly anticipated.
The Red Hawks opened the second half scoring when Brady Nelson scored in the 67th minute off of an assist from fellow Red Hawk David Poser.
Nelson's goal seemed to awaken the Muskies as they increased their level of play and took over the rest of the match. Leading the resurgent effort was freshman Tyler Opichka. In the 73rd minute Opichka stole the ball from a Red Hawk defender in the open field and took it to the goal. A perfectly placed far post cross found a charging Scott Kress, who knocked home the game tying goal. This was Kress' second goal of the match, and 11th goal of his young freshman career.
With the score now tied the stage was set for the exciting game winner just minutes later. This time it would be Opichka on the end of a beautiful Kress serve. In the 76th minute Tyler Opichka scored the game winner when Scott Kress battled and beat a Red Hawk defender down the sideline, and sent a beautiful cross to Opichka, who drove the ball with his head into the back of the net.
With the Muskies leading 3-2 they looked to possess the ball for the rest of the match, and worked to preserve their well deserved lead. With the win the Muskies are now 6-7-1 overall.
The Muskie men will be back in action on Tuesday, October 14th at 3:00 pm when they face Lake Michigan Conference opponent Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, where they suffered their only regular season conference defeat last year.