Wulf Koch Notches 200th Career Coaching Victory
By: Tim Lutz, Auburn Montgomery Sports Information Director
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Junior Elvar Sigurdsson scored twice to lead the Auburn Montgomery men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Mobile Saturday and helped head coach Wulf Koch earn his 200th career men's win.
The Warhawks improved to 10-4 on the season and picked up their eighth consecutive victory. The win also kept a perfect conference record of 7-0. The Rams fell to 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
Koch has now sports a career men's record of 200-139-22, with 89 of those victories coming at AUM. He had also added 71 victories as a women's coach.
"Who would have thought after starting 2-4 on the season we would be sitting at 10-4," Koch said. "This streak is a tribute to the amount of work and effort that these guys put in every training session."
The first 45 minutes of play was a tactical battle that remained scoreless, with the team combining for nine shots in the period.
Sigurdsson broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute, as he headed a shot past the outstretched arms of the Rams' goalkeeper, Xavier Audergon. The scoring play was set up by Christian Holthaus, who crossed the ball into the 18-yard box for a waiting Sigurdsson.
The lead was short-lived, as the Rams jumped on the board on a Pierre Mangold goal the 83rd minute. Despite allowing the goal, the Warhawks withstood a three-shot sequence by the Rams only seconds earlier. AUM goalkeeper Vignir Johannesson stopped the first shot by Gunnar Steindorsson, while Taian Souza blocked a shot by Dakai Grant on the deflected save. Johannesson followed with a second save on an attempt by Eoin Dolan that was cleared, but ultimately led to the tying goal.
"I think that sequence was really a microcosm of this eight match winning streak," Koch said. "Viggy made a save, but was then out of position. Taian came over and sacrificed himself to keep the ball out of the net, and then Viggy again. The guys are sacrificing for each other and really working hard. I think they understand they are a good soccer team, but they have to work hard and get dirty if they want to get where we want to go."
Just over a minute later, Sigurdsson would bury the game-winner, taking a pass from Alan Harwell to clinch the win and Koch's milestone victory.
"The game winner was just another example of this team's selflessness," Koch continued. "If Mathis didn't read the play and throw himself in front of their pass, Mobile is looking at a scoring opportunity. Instead, he intercepts the ball and carries it 60 yards up the field to find Elvar. Elvar then has the presence of mind to change the point of attack across the field to Alan, who then beats three guys and slides the ball back to Elvar, who finished it. That's just a desire to succeed and that has been part of our philosophy since the shaky start."
The Warhawks finished with 12 shots, while the Rams attempted 15. Sigurdsson led all players with seven shots.
In goal, Johannesson stopped five shots, while Audergon tallied just one save.
Following the match, AUM Chancellor Dr. John Veres and Director of Athletics Steve Crotz presented Koch with a commemorative plaque.
"This accomplishment is all about the players," Koch concluded. "I have been very fortunate to have been around great kids, had great assistant coaches and coach a great game for a long time."
AUM will be back in action next weekend, as it hits the road for a pair of conference games. The Warhawks will face Emmanuel at 6 p.m. on Friday, before wrapping up the road trip at Southern Wesleyan on Saturday.