Rocket League Reverse Sweeps to Secure Opening Win
The Rocket League team started the NECC Conference regular season off with an emphatic couple of wins this past Tuesday night. Valpo Brown made things even more dramatic with a 3-2 reverse sweep over Murray State in the second matchup of the night. After dropping the first two games 1-4 and 2-4, junior Kole “Kolerocks” Johnson subbed in to fuel Valpo Brown’s three straight victories 1-0, 4-2, and 6-1.
Kolerocks was key in stymieing Murray State’s offense in the final three games. “Kole is really good because his defensive mindset is the best on the team. He’s very steady in the backline,” teammate Soren Burkholder commented. After the lineup change that saw Kole come in, Murray State averaged just one goal per game.
To begin the night Valpo started two freshman, Soren “MasterSeb” Burkholder and Xander “obliviouX” Gring, alongside senior Anthony “apie44” Piasecki. Playing in a collegiate environment was a new experience for both of the first-year students. “I was a little nervous for the first game, but I did a lot better in the second game,” Xander said.
While obliviouX failed to find the net in game 1, he scored both of Valpo’s goals in game 2. Even with that explosive offensive performance, Coach Jeff Molitsky made a lineup change, replacing Xander with Kole for the final three games to anchor the team’s defense. In the absence of Xander, Anthony provided a wellspring of scoring including a hat trick in the final game.
Soren, the other newcomer, is also an offense-minded player. “Xander and I like to play aggressive and use our mechanics to help us score goals,” he remarked. Soren tallied four goals last night including a beautiful one on the opening kickoff of game 4. He echoed Xander’s thoughts about competing in collegiate play for the first time. “It was a change for me because I haven’t played with an organized team ever.”
The young team has an opportunity to grow together this season amidst big aspirations. “My main objective is to improve in the team setting.” Soren noted. “I think we took away a lot from playing together as a unit for the first time.” The group is aiming to reach the NECC postseason this year. “I definitely think we can compete within our division and probably move up a division.” Xander speculated. In order to qualify for the playoffs, they need to be in the top 8 of their division after eight weeks of regular season competition.
In the lower division of conference play, Valpo Gold grabbed their first victory with a quick 3-0 sweep over NCC. Sophomore Zachary “ZAM02” Kellogg and sophomore Jaymes “IHateStairss” Hernandez-Garrity were led by the prolific goal scoring of Jeremy “Guin19” Blumka.
Follow along all of the Esports matchups this semester at https://www.twitch.tv/valpoesports.