Lindenwood Men’s Soccer Wins MIAA Championship

Ryan Oldham | Legacy Co-Sports Editor

The Lindenwood Lions men’s soccer team won their second straight MIAA regular season conference title with a 4-1 victory over Upper Iowa University.

Aris Nukic continued his goal scoring season with his 11th goal from a free kick, while Tiago Baptista Pereira, Franz Husbands, and Mitchell Hunt scored their first goals of the season respectively.

Coach Carl Hutter stayed calm about the Lions’ unbeaten season, stating that they just have to “concentrate on the next game at all times.”

“We aren’t focused on winning, the focus is on the next game at all times.”

The win means the Lions record improved to 14-0-1 overall with a 6-0-1 record in the MIAA conference. The win makes the Lions the No.1 seed going in to the conference championship which takes place in Kansas City, Mo. starting on Nov. 7.

Talking about top goal scorer Nukic, Hutter had nothing but praise for the sophomore.

“He just needed to get himself settled in, and he’s having a great season, but Aris is just one of 27,” said Hutter.

After winning two regular season championships in a row, the team have become closer as a group.

“They are better in some regards as they are a year older, but they have that togetherness, and they compete really hard,” said Hutter. “You have to have talent, but it’s equally as important to smile, laugh, and have fun.”

Coach Hutter holds a strong academic ethic with his players, stating that the players are “students too,” and have to “become better as a person.”

“The marching band want their kids to become better musicians, as I want my guys to become better soccer players, and better students at the same time.”

With several players leaving Lindenwood after this year, there may be an added emphasis on them to win a national championship.

“There’s a fair number leaving, so it’s good for them to go out and have some fun now on the field,” said Hutter. “The guys talk a lot about this season. They’re shooting for the win and they’re up for it.”

When asked about replacing the departing players, Hutter said “the recruitment process never begins or ends.”

“A lot of players get attracted because of the good tradition we have here at Lindenwood, and we haven’t exactly been starved for talent over the years,” said Hutter.

The Lions will face Missouri Valley College tonight in Marshall, Mo. before returning to Lindenwood for a two game stint at Hunter Stadium against Southwest Baptist University, and Rogers State University on the 1st and 3rd of Nov. respectively.

The MIAA Tournament Semifinals will take place on the 8th of Nov. with the Final on the 10th with Coach Hutter offering some words of wisdom by saying “You’ve just got to keep going.”

 First Published: 10/28/2013