Second half blitz powers Storm to 4-1 win at Nebraska Wesleyan

Second half blitz powers Storm to 4-1 win at Nebraska Wesleyan

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Simpson men's soccer team recovered from a slow first half to score four goals in the second, beating Nebraska Wesleyan 4-1 on Wednesday.

Darius Doswell scored the equalizer, Tanner Alderson converted the go-ahead goal and Garrett Pochop added two tallies as the Storm (10-6-1, 4-2 Iowa Conference) extended their winning streak to four games.

"We have a team that's playing with unmatched confidence right now," head coach Rick Isaacson said. "The rigorous schedule we've played to date has prepared our guys for intense matches such as tonight. Our players are beginning to embrace such challenges."

Alex Day put Simpson under early with a goal in the 39th minute, giving the Prairie Wolves (6-6-3, 2-5) a 1-0 advantage.

In a game with big postseason implications, Simpson turned it on in the second half to earn three big points in the league standings.

"This was a swing game," Isaacson said. "Win, and we can continue to pursue a championship. Lose and we might miss the tournament. There was a lot at stake tonight."

The stakes were made even higher considering the Storm featured a first-year starter in goal. Freshman Colton Nickell played well, making six saves in the win. He started in place of Chris Harris, who suffered an injury against Saint Mary's on Monday.

Doswell put Simpson on the board in the 47th minute, tying the game at one apiece. Alderson continued his late-season tear, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute for his fifth goal in the last three games. One of the nation's top goal-scorers, Pochop did the rest, scoring his 15th and 16th goals of the season to close it out.

The win locked up a berth in the IIAC Tournament and made Saturday's matchup with Loras even more interesting. The Duhawks are tied with Dubuque atop the league standings with 15 points while Luther, Wartburg, Central and Simpson are all tied for third with 12 points. 

Simpson and Loras are the two hottest teams in the league, as the Storm are riding a four-game winning streak and the Duhawks have won five in a row.

"We're playing our best soccer as the postseason approaches," Isaacson said. "This team has some unique traits that are making it a dangerous side to deal with. The next couple of weeks could certainly get interesting."

Simpson hosts Loras on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Duhawks (10-4, 5-1) beat Coe 9-0 on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Buxton Stadium.

Loras beats Simpson 3-1
October 22, 2016 Loras beats Simpson 3-1
Pochop scores twice in wild win
September 10, 2016 Pochop scores twice in wild win