Answers don’t come easy: Hawks need to respond after allowing five goals in season opener
QUINCY — Alex Lehmann doesn’t want youth to be the Quincy University men’s soccer team’s crutch.
“I made a mistake that cost us a goal,” the senior defender and captain said. “So it’s not the young guys. We’re a team. Win as a team, lose as a team.”
Respond as a team, too.
The Hawks stumbled Thursday afternoon in their season opener at Legends Stadium, falling behind Wisconsin-Parkside 4-1 and suffering a 5-3 setback to a team that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II national tournament a year ago.
The message afterward was clear: Respond rapidly.
“Instantly that’s the message, especially coming back in here tomorrow,” freshman midfielder Carter Venvertloh said. “Respond, respond, respond. Fix the mistakes we made today, and we had a plethora of them. Just address as many of them as we can and fix them.”
Lehmann reiterated the need to respond.
“That’s the message straight away,’ Lehmann said. “Forget about this one. It’s over. We have to be focused in on Sunday. That’s a tough place to go and play. Tough field, tough conditions. So that’s all it is, get ready for Sunday and be ready to respond.”
The Hawks leave Saturday for a four-day road trip in which they will play at Northern Michigan on Sunday and Purdue Northwest on Tuesday.
“We have to bounce back,” QU coach Mike Carpenter said. “This was just not a very good effort defensively. Individually, there was not enough desire to stop the opposition from beating us in 1-v-1 scenarios. That starts the effect. The individually defensive mentality was not anything close to beating a team like Parkside.”
It didn’t take long for the Hawks to wind up on their heels.
Parkside’s Paco Piscaglia drove a shot into the upper corner of the net in the 10th minute. In the 20th minute, Quincy scored the equalizer as Lewis Chapman swung a corner kick from the left side into the far side of the net.
However, six minutes later, starting center back Paal Vistnes suffered an ankle injury and Carpenter and his staff were forced to shuffle pieces. The Rangers took advantage, scoring twice in the final 16 minutes of the half to take a 3-1 lead to intermission.
Parkside made it a 4-1 edge in the 50th minute, but Venvertloh — a Quincy High School graduate — scored his first career goal in the 59th minute on a low liner from left to right.
“It feels just as good as any other goal,” said Venvertloh, who earned all-state honors last season at QHS. “Maybe a little better.”
QU junior forward Rennato Ramos scored in the 80th minute, but that came after Parkside had tacked on another goal.
Hawks freshman goalkeeper George Roke made 11 saves and Quincy generated 12 shots, including six on goal, but other scoring opportunities slipped away or the outcome could have been different.
“We created enough chances to score enough goals to win the game,” Carpenter said. “We also wasted several high quality chances that we have to finish. Even as poorly as we defended and as disappointed as I am in that, we still have to look ourselves in the mirror and say the stuff in front of the goal was not good enough and learn from it.”
The defensive intensity needs to improve, too.
“Physically, we were a step behind,” Lehmann said. “They were beating us to those 50/50 balls, and that’s the difference in the game. They were a little bit hungrier.”
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