The UW-Parkside men’s soccer team’s last home game of the year at Wood Road Field may have been one of their most complete performances of the year. The Rangers defeated the University of Illinois-Springfield 5-0 on senior day, and saw two seniors combine to score four of the five goals.
With this match up being the final home game of the season, it meant that it was the last home game for seniors, or in other words, senior day. The majority of the Rangers’ seniors started the game. The seven seniors who played in their final home game for the Rangers on Sunday afternoon were Matt Gloshen, Jose Alfaro, Jason Moxley, Ben Kreple, Jon Bebeau, Cyril Simmons, and Dave Mercer. These athletes played such an integral role in their tenures with the team, so it was great to see so many of them start together.
“This season hasn’t gone the way our seniors would have liked, but it was great to end the home season with a win for them,” said men’s soccer associate head coach Jason Zitzke. “This group did everything we asked them to and they trained as hard as any group we’ve had.”
Entering the twenty-first minute of the match, senior Jon Bebeau broke the deadlock with a great strike on goal. The Rangers had many of the chances preceding the goal, and finally found a man in open space to deliver the opening blow of the game. Not taking long after his first, Bebeau scored again five minutes later with a powerful header off a Parkside corner kick. On his last home contest for Parkside, Bebeau scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season.
Just under ten minutes removed from Bebeau’s scoring outburst, Kinkade Lo set the table for Collin Monahan. Monahan, a sophomore from East Troy, picked up his fourth goal of the year, and Parkside’s gap stretched to three. From here, the game settled for the Rangers. Parkside out shot Illinois-Springfield thirteen to one in the first half, and earned seven corners to one. The experience from Parkside was clearly the benefactor of this match.
Just as his fellow senior did in the first, Cyril Simmons netted two goals in a matter of minutes just after the start of the second half. In the fifty-third minute, the Belize native Cyril Simmons scored a header of his own off a great cross by Jon Bebeau. Just six minutes after that, he netted another goal to make five for himself on the year and five for the Rangers in the game.
Although the men’s soccer team did not do any major things for senior day, it is worth noting a very nice moment for the team’s seniors. As the game closed, all the seniors in the match were substituted off the field at the same time to a warm ovation by the crowd on hand.
“That was a nice moment, one I’m sure they’ll remember for a long time,” said Zitzke. “Now it’s time to finish strong on the road.”
In all, this was not only a fantastic game for the Rangers, but one that showed their abilities against worthy teams in the GLVC, as they were able to pile up and knock their opponents out of the conference playoffs in just a few weeks time. The thing for the Rangers to play for is Rick Kilps’ thirty-one straight years with a winning record. The win puts the Rangers over the five hundred mark on the season, and it will be one more win in the last two to secure a winning season. The Rangers’ next games are next week on the road against Drury and Rockhurst.