Sophomore midfielder Spencer Bursten’s goal and two assists lead the Rangers to a 4-1 route over the visiting Eagles in convincing fashion. Parkside’s men’s soccer team hosted Robert Morris University-Illinois on a crisp Monday afternoon at Kenosha’s Wood Road Complex. For the large quantity of incoming freshmen in attendance, the Rangers left a positive impression.
“It’s essential that we perform at a high level to encourage young students to come out,” said Parkside’s head coach Rick Kilps. “Executing and putting on a good show in the process are the best ways to accomplish this.”
The Rangers not only executed their game plan, but did so with optimal energy. They forced pressure on the Eagles from the beginning releasing five shots on goal within the first ten minutes. Despite numerous scoring opportunities, the Rangers were unable to capitalize early. It wouldn’t pay off until the 18:42 mark of the first half when Parkside’s Jose Alfaro fired a rocket just beyond the fingertips of the Eagles’ goalkeeper giving the Rangers an early lead. Kinkade Lo would almost add a second goal at the end of the first half with a nifty move followed by a shot that sailed just inches over the cross bar. With a 12-6 advantage by shots attempted and much greater time of possession than Robert Morris’s ball club, the Rangers would finish the half with a 1-0 lead and full control of the game.
Just two and a half minutes into the second half, the Rangers wasted no time putting the ball into the net with the help of a painful deflection initiated by freshman Austin Robb. With a cross-field pass by Bursten, midfielder Niklas Boedts would complete the possession with a goal jumping Parkside out to a 2-0 lead. Just minutes later, the Rangers would tack on an insurance goal by way of Cyril Simmons’s brilliant sliding shot off the feed from defenseman Jason Moxley. It was then Bursten who would put the finishing touches on a scintillating performance by smashing a top shelf goal that would get the crowd to their feet.
“We came out a little flat but sharpened up as the game went along,” said Bursten. “We had a team goal at the beginning of the season which was to shutout all opponents at home.”
Unfortunately, Robert Morris’ Forward Eric Herrera denied Bursten and the Rangers this accomplishment with a goal with just thirty seconds left in regulation. Nonetheless, it was an impressive victory for Parkside as they dominated play both offensively and defensively. Junior Matt Gloshen anchored a solid Ranger defense that did an exceptional job taking the pressure off senior goalkeeper Jamie Lieberman. According to Bursten, “We weren’t very happy with their goal, but we were pleased with our overall performance.”