The Lawrence University men’s soccer team pulled out a pair of dramatic plays in the final minutes on Wednesday to post a 3-2 Midwest Conference victory over St. Norbert College at Whiting Field West.
With the game tied 2-2, Lawrence senior Vince Butitta split a pair of St. Norbert defenders and took a pass from freshman Oliver Newsom. Butitta then beat St. Norbert goalkeeper Noah Davis to give the Vikings a 3-2 lead.
Lawrence goalkeeper Taiju Oki, a freshman from Tokyo, Japan, making his first career start, was put on the spot when an inadvertent handball gave St. Norbert a penalty kick with 24.7 seconds left. Trevor Scales took the kick for the Green Knights and drove it hard to his right, but Oki made a diving save and deflected the ball away to preserve the win.
Oki finished with three saves to post his first collegiate victory.
Lawrence (3-8-0, 2-1-0 MWC) built a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first half. David Caprile put the Vikings on the board when he drilled one past Davis from about 20 yards out just 2:02 into the game.
The Vikings made it 2-0 when Butitta played a cross from Simon Newsom and scored at 37:44.
Davis then made several big saves in the second half to keep the margin at 2-0, and the Green Knights got back into the game. Tommy Purdom scored on a header at 63:23, and Paul Fischer tied it at 2-2 when he found the back of the net at 83:03. Fischer scored when a ball deflected off a Lawrence defender right to his feet in front of the net.
Davis made five saves and took the loss.