DUBUQUE, Iowa - Erik Berkowitz scored the only goal of the game and Loras beat the Simpson men's soccer team 1-0 in the semifinals of the Iowa Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
Berkowitz headed in his sixth goal of the season in the 34th minute for the top-seeded and 10th-ranked Duhawks (16-1-2), who advance to the IIAC Tournament Championship against Wartburg.
"We put our best foot forward tonight and fell just short to a quality side," head coach Rick Isaacson said.
Kyle Kusy and Mitchell White each took four shots and combined for five shots on goal for the fourth-seeded Storm (12-7-2).
Kusy put three shots on goal and got a foot on a loose ball in the box in the second half. Loras goalkeeper Dylan Milkent got knocked down during the play, but a defender was able to redirect the chance.
"We were right there with them for the full 90 minutes," Isaacson said of the Loras team that bounced Simpson from the tournament with a 6-0 decision a year ago. "If the ball bounces differently in a couple of instances, the result could have swung our way."
Luke Aronow made three saves in the first half before Zach McEntee spent the final 45 minutes between the posts. He made three saves as well.
"While it was a heartbreaking loss, we can hold our heads high as our program took another step forward this fall," Isaacson said. "The gap between the top teams in this conference and us no longer exists.
I do want to thank our three seniors (Aronow, Nathan May, Ryan Chabal) that have now finished their playing days. They endured some challenging times during their four years, including a coaching change. They stuck it out, never complained and they're undoubtedly leaving this program in better shape than when they arrived. We will miss them."