INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson men's soccer team owned the first 15 minutes and the final 20 but Loras scored three goals in between, and the Storm fell 3-1 Saturday in a game with championship implications.
Ryan Ross, Kyler Olson and Ian Lenke scored first-half goals for the Duhawks (11-4-0, 6-1-0 Iowa Conference), who won their sixth game in a row and put themselves in position to win a share of the conference title with a win against Luther in the regular season finale.
"It was a game of ebbs and flows," head coach Rick Isaacson said. "I thought we were the better side out of the gate, they captured the middle part of the game then after we scored, momentum switched back to our team. Unfortunately for us we dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half and when you put yourself down multiple goals against a team like Loras it's going to be tough to crawl out of."
The Storm (10-7-1, 4-3-0) had a chance to put themselves in a position to win a conference title as well. Instead Simpson lost to Loras for the 20th straight game, snapping a four-game winning streak.
Ross took advantage of Loras' first scoring opportunity, knocking in the game's first goal in the 17th minute. A deflection changed the course of the ball just enough to put goalkeeper Colton Nickell out of position to make the save. Olson scored from the top of the box in the 32nd minute and Lenke made it 3-0 with his goal in the 40th minute.
Simpson generated scoring chances but couldn't capitalize early. The Storm put three shots on goal in the second half and a Garrett Pochop free kick in the 55th minute missed the frame by inches.
"The game wasn't decided between the 18-yard boxes, it was decided in each 18-yard box," Isaacson said. "Loras was the better team both in their box and in our box."
Donevan Roe put Simpson on the board in the 73rd minute, driving in a header after a lofting cross from Pochop.
"This was as big of a game as we've played in my six years here for the sole reason of what was at stake," Isaacson said. "That's what makes this loss a little more disappointing. But we know based on the resume we've created for ourselves, the only way to the national tournament is to win the conference tournament."
Simpson closes the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 25 against Buena Vista. The Beavers (5-11-1, 1-6) beat Coe 1-0 on Saturday.