The Webster University men’s soccer team defeated Westminster College (Mo.) on Saturday, Nov. 3 to win the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship. The Gorloks will now play Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., on Friday, Nov. 9 at 11 a.m.
Dominican, from the Northern Athletic Conference, comes into the matchup with a record of 16-2-1. The Stars have yet to lose a game this season on their home field and are nationally ranked. Webster comes in with a record of 12-5-2 and has won six of its last seven games.
Webster coach Marty Todt said Dominican is a program with the experience of playing in the national tournament.
“Their ability to move the ball with speed is incredible and is probably as good as a Division-I team,” Todt said.
The Stars also average four goals a game. They are led offensively by senior forward Ryan Roberts with 12 goals and sophomore forward Ryan Ybarra with eight. Todt thinks the Stars will be very dangerous on offensive restarts.
The Gorloks’ leading scorers are sophomore midfielder Mike Wells with eight and junior midfielder Carlos Espinosa with seven.
Webster has not seen any film on Dominican. Todt said the Gorloks are prepared because they played Loras College (third in the country) and Wheaton College (16th in the country). Todt said it gives his team a gauge of what the Gorloks are going to have to deal with in the NCAA tournament.
While the Stars are known for their offensive ability, the Gorloks are known for their defense. Webster has nine shutouts this year and is tied for third in the SLIAC with 20 goals against on the season. This gives them a 1.16 goals against average, which ranks second in the SLIAC.
Todt believes the defense is up for the challenge against the Stars.
“A very important element of that is team defense,” Todt said. “Our defenders do an excellent job, but the key ingredient to our success this season is being a blue-collar team — everybody working hard and playing an important role.”