Viking Views Spring/Summer 2018


he 2017 Missouri Valley College men’s soccer team had a historic season. The team posted the best season in program history, which marked a new level of success for head coach Vladimir Simic and his program. After narrowly missing out on the National postseason tournament in 2016, the Viking men’s soccer team opened the 2017 season in a dominating fashion. Missouri Valley started the season with an 11-0-1 record, which included games against Nationally ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Benedictine (Kansas) College teams, along with eventual National postseason participant Columbia (Missouri) College. The Vikings proved to be strong on both offense and defense during the opening stretch, posting eight shutouts, along with averaging three goals per game. During this run, the men’s soccer team reached as high as No. 2 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the highest ranking in program-history. Missouri Valley sat on top of the Heart regular season standings going into an October 15 road game at Nationally ranked Grand View (Iowa) University, but that game started a tough difficult two weeks, that saw

the Vikings go 1-2-1 in games heading into the season-finale. The Vikings hosted a top five Baker (Kansas) University team at Gregg-Mitchell Field in the final regular season game, and a win would give Missouri Valley a regular season championship in the Heart. The first half featured very few chances for either team, but the game opened up in the second half. Just over six minutes after the halftime break, Missouri Valley broke the scoreless tie, as Slaven Baskalo sent a corner kick into the Baker box. Clayton Sousa was the first person to the ball, and put a header past the Wildcat keeper, giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Baker came back 20-minutes later to score the equalizer, putting a shot off the post and into goal, tying the game at 1-1. Missouri Valley stepped up its pressure on Baker, forcing the Wildcat keeper into three saves over the next ten minutes. With less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, the Vikings were awarded a free kick just outside the Baker penalty box. Luka Gluscevic placed the free kick about 12-yards out from goal, and Joan Martorell gave Missouri Valley a 2-1 lead, scoring on another header to win the game and give the Vikings a Heart regular season championship.

24 Viking Views | Spring/Summer 2018

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