A rebound goal by freshman Gary Simkus (Highland, IN/Highland) led the Wabash soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Rose-Hulman Tuesday night, giving the Little Giants a 7-9-1 record and four wins in their last five games.
Wabash trailed 1-0 at halftime before senior Colin Smith (Zionsville, IN/Zionsville) took a pass from Simkus from 18 yards out and lifted a shot toward the top-left corner of the net. The ball sailed over the Engineers' goalkeeper and settled into the back of the net to tie the match at 1-1.
Four minutes later freshman Ryan Leagre (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) took a crossing pass from Smith and Jason Bunning (JR/Evansville, IN/Harrison) in front of the net and beat Rose's Stan Blaszczyk to give Wabash a 2-1 lead.
Simkus took advantage of a break two minutes after Leagre's goal to score the game winner. Smith launched another shot toward the goal that Blaszczyk caught. But as he came down with the shot, the ball squirted out of his hands and onto the ground in front of the goal. Simkus stepped forward, scoring his fifth goal of the year while giving the Little Giants a much-needed insurance goal. Much needed because the Engineers would rally for a final score with 13 minutes left in the match to cut the Wabash lead to one. But Ben Edquist (JR/LaPorte, IN/LaPorte) shut the door in the final minutes after taking over for starting goalkeeper Will McAdams (JR/Carmel, IN/Carmel) to give Wabash its seventh win of the year.
McAdams recorded the win with two saves and one goal allowed. Edquist also made two saves with a goal allowed. Wabash pounded 12 shots on goal. Junior Jeff Diebel (Ft. Wayne, IN/Homestead) led the attack with three shots on net. Smith, Leagre, and senior Tom Reifenberg (Ft. Wayne, IN/Bishop Dwenger) each added two shots on goal.
After opening the season with an 0-4 mark, the Little Giants rallied to win four of their final five matches of the season, including a key road victory at Wittenberg in North Coast Athletic Conference play. Wabash finished the year with a 4-5 mark in NCAC play, the most wins in conference play since the Little Giants joined the league in 1999.
Simkus finished the year with five goals to lead the Wabash scoring attack. He and Diebel tied for the team lead with 12 total points, followed by senior Morgan Patchell (Kalamazoo, IN/Loy Norrix) with 11 points. Diebel and Smith led the team in assists, each tallying four this year.