Men’s Soccer Falls to Milwaukee as Their Season Comes to a Sudden End

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MILWAUKEE, Wisc. -- After a 4-0 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday, March 24, the IUPUI men’s soccer team found their season to be in disarray as the team learned some bad news.

Although the team was scheduled to play Oakland on Monday, March 29, their season has been cancelled due to the NCAA Covid-19 protocols to protect both staff and the team. Head coach Brian Barnett spoke on Friday, March 26, about the end of the season, but was unable to give to much detail.

“As the line continues to be in the media with the NCAA tournament, due to COVID protocols and concerns within the tier one personnel within our program we are unable to play the last two games of the season,” said Barnett.

Milwaukee came out firing on all cylinders as they put up three goals before the end of the first half. Milwaukee forward, freshman Logan Farrington, who scored the game’s first goal early in the 10th minute, had a pair of goals and set up his teammate, junior Paolo Gratton, for one of his own in the 20th minute.

This marked Farrington’s fifth goal and first ever assist in his collegiate career as he is currently second in scoring for Milwaukee. Gratton leads the team in scoring with eight goals on the season as their team is currently in fifth place in the Horizon League Conference with a record of 4-4, sitting one spot out of the tournament.

While the Jaguars were unable to find the back of the net, junior Riley Shives led the attack with three shots attempted, being the only Jaguar able to get off more than one attempt past the Milwaukee defense. 

Shives was also the only Jag to put the ball on net with the team’s best chance for a goal being stopped by Milwaukee’s sophomore goalkeeper, Nick Chiappa. Shives had two back to back shots sail the net earlier in the first half in the 32nd minute, but put his shot on goal late in the 85th. 

While IUPUI was unable to get a draw or victory on the season, they never stopped working hard and being optimistic, showing how much character they have in the locker room. Senior defender Tommy Patacca believes that the team has been doing the right things this season, but unfortunately have been unable to capitalize on their chances. 

“I think all of us have a really good understanding of what our roles are and what our game plan is, it’s more of the execution portion that we seem to have trouble with,” said Patacca. “It’s not a matter of hard work or not knowing what to do, it’s a matter of making sure we guarantee that we actually complete it [the game plan].”

Even though this season is the second in program history without a win and the first ever without a tie, it is also the shortest season in the history of IUPUI soccer. This season comes two years after their last in 2019 due to the pandemic cancelling the 2020 season. With a return to normalcy and a regular offseason the Jags go into this summer looking to improve for next year.

“The biggest takeaway is that we have an incredibly resilient group of student athletes to think about and the number of challenges that they have endured,” said Barnett. “They continue to bounce back from any of those setbacks or challenges with an attitude or mentality that suggests that they are ready to work hard and improve...I think that that resilience in our student athletes is something I tremendously appreciate.”

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