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The frustrations on offense continue for the Lakeland College men's soccer team, as it dropped a non-conference game, 2-1, to Ripon College on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Ripon, Wis.
Although the Muskies (0-4) tallied an astonishing seven shots on goal, they were unable to get one to find its way to the back of the net until sophomore midfielder Ryan Malo knocked in a free kick off the foot of freshman forward Casey Schmidt in the 71st minute. However, Lakeland was unable to turn the goal into a comeback, as the squad still trailed by a goal as a result of Ripon's two first half goals.
"We definitely struggled with our finishing tonight," said head coach Dave Madsen. "There were probably five or six chances that I thought for sure were goals, but the keeper made a save on one and the others either went wide of the post or over the top."
Sophomore midfielder Kevin Fitchett and freshman forward Brian Knight accounted for the remaining four shots on goal in the game with two apiece. Freshman goalkeeper Brock Winkler recorded two saves, while Ripon's Matt Schultz tallied six saves between the posts.
The Muskies have yet to earn their first win of the season, but Madsen is confident they will be able to achieve that and more by improving their attentiveness and concentration.
"One of the goals we gave up was a defensive error," Madsen said. "We weren't very careful with the ball in the back, and I think it caught Brock by surprise. We tend to lose concentration, and I think if we had been able to avoid that and held them to just one goal we could have been pushing for the win at the end of the game instead of just pushing for the tie."
Lakeland will look to turn over a new leaf as it begins its Northern Athletics Conference schedule with Concordia University Chicago at the Muskies' home-opener on Saturday, Sept. 15.
"We've been active and very quick to the ball in the box, it's just been that finishing touch and that killer ball that have been missing from our play. We've been competing with every team we have played so far, and have had chances to win those games. I hope the guys are learning lessons from these games and can carry them on as we start conference games."
Game time with Concordia is set for 2 p.m. at Muskie Field.