MADISON, Wis. - The Beloit Memorial boys soccer team picked a heck of a night to get out of a slump.
The Purple Knights notched what their head coach Brian Denu called "one of the most satisfying regular season wins I can remember"" Tuesday night when they defeated eighth-ranked Madison Memorial 3-1.
The Knights were certainly facing some adversity: Six players didn't make the trip due to illness, leaving the Knights with only 16 healthy bodies. Denu sent an email to freshman Eamonn Rougvie Tuesday morning, asking if he'd be interested in suiting up for the varsity in the game.
Within a minute, Denu had his answer: Rougvie was ready for the promotion.
Twenty-five minutes into a scoreless game, the Knights were executing the game plan. Denu's forwards, however, were gassed.
Insert Rougvie for his first varsity action.
Omar Munoz sent a cross into the box that Rougvie caught up with and tapped past the keeper for his first career goal, just five minutes into his career and 30 minutes into the game.
A little over two minutes later, Rougvie found the back of the net again, giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.
The Spartans got on the board before halftime as Isiah Sharp beat Dennis Aragon to make it 2-1.
Johnny Leon gave the Knights some cushion in the 65th minute, scoring with his left foot to make it 3-1. The Knights were able to salt away the victory without any drama, giving the team their best win of the season.
"I'm so proud of all the guys for sticking together through some tough times," Denu said. "Tonight the field and the bench were both lively and excited for one another. It was one of the best team victories I can remember."
Things won't get any easier for the team Thursday, as the Knights welcome in Big Eight Conference-leading Verona, the fourth-best team in the state.