GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's soccer team's season came to an end Saturday night in a 2-0 loss to No. 4 Calvin on Zuidema Field in the second round of the NCAA DIII Tournament.
The Pioneers advanced to the second round after defeating Carthage 4-1 Friday while Calvin shut out Greenville 4-0 in the game prior.
Even as the No. 4 Knights held a dominate 11-1 advantage on shots, both teams entered halftime knotted at zero. The Pioneers continued to defend off the Knights until a red card against UW-Platteville in the 72nd minute dropped the Pioneers down a defender and with 18 minutes left to play, Calvin was able to capitalize on the one-man advantage.
"Our game plan worked for almost 75 minutes until we lost a defender to a red card and had to play short," said head coach Enzo Fuschino. "This team had a great season and much to be proud of."
UW-Platteville's Nate Miller came up big a number of times including a great save on Calvin's penalty kick in the 72nd minute. Overall, Miller tallied up five saves against the team that entered Saturday's matchup averaging 4.3 goals per game.
Overall, Calvin held a 23-2 advantage on shots for the day with seven on frame for the Knights and one on goal for the Pioneers.
Saturday's game marked the second season in a row for the Pioneers to falling against one of the top nationally ranked teams in the second round of the NCAA DIII Tournament. Last season, UW-Platteville fell in the second round to the soon to be national runner-up, North Park.
The Pioneers conclude their 2018 campaign 13-3-3 and the best winning percentage (.763) since the 1998 season.
Praising his team and seniors Fuschino said, "This senior class earned back to back NCAA appearances and made the coaching staff, the university, and the Platteville community proud." The 2018 senior class includes Tommy Bitter, Nick Hoklas, Matthew Huftalin, Nick Konopacki, Logan Rinderknecht, Mason Spang, and Brad Strobel and finishes with a 47-17-8 overall record over the last four years.
"We will miss our seven seniors, champions on and off the field, and wish them a great future," said Fuschino. Looking on to what's next, Fuschino said, "We have a strong base of returners who are eager to get back to work!"