Gabrilska returns to lineup for UWO

Morgan Van Lanen

Junior Elias Efthimiou scored the first goal of the game against UW-Platteville in a 3-2 loss to the Pioneers on Oct. 17.
[/media-credit] Junior Elias Efthimiou scored the first goal of the game against UW-Platteville in a 3-2 loss to the Pioneers on Oct. 17.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh men’s soccer team lost its second straight game to Luther College (Iowa) on Wednesday, Oct. 21 in Oshkosh. The game’s only point was scored in the 16th minute by Luther’s senior midfielder Josh Galvin. It was a five-yard shot off of a cross by senior forward Josh Parris. UWO outshot Luther College 12-11 but was unable to make a comeback. Senior goalkeeper Sam Gabrilska returned to the lineup and made six saves in goal for the Titans, while Luther’s senior goalkeeper, Tommy Breen, made three. Senior midfielder Michael Dugan led UWO with four shots on goal. UWO lost its first game since Sept. 1 to UW-Platteville on Saturday, Oct. 17 on the road. Titans junior forward Elias Efthimiou tallied the first goal of the match in the second minute of the first half. He scored on a header from his own rebound off of a free kick. However, the Pioneers made a quick comeback when junior midfielder Jon Stopple scored in the seventh minute of the game. His goal was taken from the right side of the field and went in on the lower-left side of the goal. His shot also went unassisted. The next goal came in the 32nd minute of the first half from UW-P’s freshman forward Caleb Rindfleisch. Stopple had the assist, and Rindfleisch took the shot from 10 yards out. UWO quickly tied the match in the 34th minute when junior midfielder Jacob Hernandez took a corner kick, and sophomore forward Javier Simon shot it from 10 yards away. “In regards to my goal, it wasn’t a very special goal in the way I scored or how the play was built up,” Simon said. “But it was at a crucial time. We had just gone down two minutes before, so it was important to level things out before we went into halftime.” The game remained tied at 2-2 until UW-P scored with just seven minutes remaining. The goal came from sophomore midfielder Wyatt Gilson when he stole the ball from a UWO defender and took the shot from 20 yards out. “I would describe the game as a missed opportunity,” Simon said. “We definitely feel like we could have competed more in that game than we did, but we will use it to learn from.” Gabrilska did not play due to a torn right quad from the game against Wheaton College. Junior goalie Kevin Schenk started in place of Gabrilska but had no saves. “To be honest, this injury has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through,” Gabrilska said. “By not experiencing a significant injury so far in my collegiate career, it has caused me to miss games, and it’s been tough adjusting to life off the field. You put in so many hours with your teammates, the coaches.” Gabrilska said he wants to play though his injury for his teammates. “Along with this great season we’re having and where we stand as a program, it sucks to have it all stall due to this injury,” Gabrilska said. “But my teammates and coaches know I’d do anything to be on the field. If that means I’ll have to play through pain, then so be it. This group of guys means too much to me to not give them everything I’ve got left.” Although UWO has lost two straight games, sophomore forward David Radtke believes that his team can still beat anyone, starting with UW-Whitewater whom the Titans host on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. “My goal is to just keep winning games one by one,” Radtke said. “Personally, I want to contribute any way to my team that will help us win whether it be by scoring goals, getting assists, playing good defense or anything else. I don’t think there’s a team in the nation that we can’t beat if we’re at our best, and we are aiming to prove that.”