Stunned by a remarkable four-goal performance from a potent Bellarmine offense, the Rangers come up empty tainting a brilliant season.
Spotlighting a Great Lakes Valley Conference quarter-final contest, UW-Parkside (8-5-2) (13-5-2) hosted Bellarmine University (9-5-0) (11-5-1) Sunday afternoon at a brisk Wood Road Field in Kenosha, WI.
Inconsistency plagued Parkside as their frugal attempt to contain BU’s lethal attack culminated in a 4-0 rout.
Displaying a sub-par effort to open the match, the Rangers committed careless turnovers and costly miscues on both sides of the ball.
Bellarmine capitalized on shaky execution by pelting six attempted shots within the first 30 minutes of action. UWP’s senior goalkeeper Jamie Lieberman labored as he was forced to snatch up five first half saves.
At 10:02, a corner kick by Bellarmine’s Brett Gregory produced a beautiful header by Justin Klenke (1) that found the back of the net to account for one of Gregory’s two assists.
“Defensively we made uncharacteristic mistakes that we simply hadn’t committed all season,” said Parkside head coach Rick Kilps. “We weren’t prepared to take the field and I take full responsibility for that.”
At 38:16, Lieberman failed to snare a blast into the box which sophomore forward Jordan Dellamano finished for a goal to vault the Knights out to a 2-0 advantage.
In putrid fashion, the Rangers managed no shots on goal in the first half and were dominated in time of ball possession by a wide margin.
Just minutes into the second half, a slew of savvy moves complemented with a burst of speed by Bellarmine’s forward Bradley Barraclough resulted in a score beating Parkside’s back line yet again.
Despite an increased attempt to make plays offensively, the Rangers lacked the ability to translate such effort into points. The opportunities were present but without execution as a cohesive unit, Parkside squandered their scoring chances.
Nothing epitomized this unsatisfactory performance better than an impressive setup by senior forward Johnson Thao that the Rangers failed to convert onto the scoreboard.
“When you don’t perform to your full potential it’s frustrating,” said a disheartened Thao. “We accomplished some great things this season but going out like this is just so disappointing.”
At 88:55, the Knights further silenced an already dismal crowd by topping off the 4-0 trouncing with freshman Robert Bowling’s goal assisted by Michael Whitman and Corey Fundenburger.
UW-Parkside has now qualified for the GLVC tournament every year since they joined the circuit back in 1995. This marks only the fourth season in which they were unable to advance to the Final Four.
This has been their most productive campaign since 2006 when they were defeated at the hands of SIU Edwardsville 3-2 in overtime.
The squad racked up 13 wins in 2009 and found themselves ranked as high as No. 22 nationally among Division II collegiate programs.
Sophomore midfielder Niklas Boedts wrapped up a superb year as sixth in the circuit with 10 goals and also led the Rangers with 26 points.
Anchoring a stellar Parkside defense, junior Matt Gloshen was anointed Second Team All-Conference in the GLVC.
Highlighting a brilliant regular season, several standout seniors performed admirably.
“It’s been great playing with those guys but it’s been an even greater pleasure knowing them,” said junior defense-man Jason Moxley. “They’re quality individuals that are going to be very successful in the future.”
Lieberman completed 2009 with a solid 1.22 goals against average, 47 saves, and two shutouts to his credit.
Second on the Rangers with 24 points, Thao totaled nine goals and six assists. The forward also led all players with 26 shots-on-goal and tied Boedts for a team leading three game-winning goals.
Senior forward Cyril Simmons, a native from Belize, garnered 11 points and served as an integral part of Parkside’s explosive offense throughout the year.
“We took great strides improving from last year’s 8th seed to hosting a playoff match,” said Kilps. “As respectable young men, I wish all of the seniors the best in all of their future endeavors. We have promising young talent and the next step is building upon this year’s success.”