By Michael Otero
On Saturday, Nov. 22, two overwhelming seasons came to an end for LIU Post. The football team, who had their best season in over a decade, advanced to the Division II Championship, and suffered a loss at the hands of Virginia State. The men’s soccer squad also ended their historic season on that same day, as they lost to Charleston College by a score of 1-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The football team finished the year 8-4, and outscored their opponents by over a touchdown for the entire season. The Pioneers dominated the football, running over 200 more plays than their opponents—leading to more points and victories on the playing field.
Red-shirt senior quarterback Steven Laurino completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,500 yards and 29 touchdowns. On the ground, he led the Pioneers in rushing with 609 yards and 19 touchdowns. Red- shirt sophomore tailback Mike Williams accumulated over 600 yards and three touchdowns. Laurino found a total of seven different players for touchdowns this season, led by red-shirt senior wideout Kamron Palmer, who hauled in 10 scores. Right behind him was red-shirt sophomore receiver Shane Hubbard, who intercepted nine touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, red-shirt senior linebacker Anthony Brunetti led the team with 62 tackles and four interceptions. The defensive line was powered by senior lineman David Sumter, who amassed team-leading 9.5 sacks, and 15 tackles for a loss over the season.
The men’s soccer team finished the season 16-5-2 after a loss in the NCAA D-II National Championship Quarterfinals and, at one point, went on a 10-game winning streak. Senior captain Eivind Austboe scored a team high of 17 goals, and totaled 38 points. The Pioneers had timely contributions from multiple players throughout the year, which made them very dangerous. Graduate forward Dale McDonald scored nine goals, while junior midfielder Per Forgaard netted eight. Forgaard also led the team in assists with nine. Freshman forward Jason Lampkin provided the energy the team needed, and was clutch down the stretch of games, as he scored six goals on the season, two of which went for game winners.
Junior goalkeeper Jesper Malmstrom went 15-4-2 on the season, marking a close to 80 percent saving rate on all shots on goal. He pitched eight shutouts on the season. Perhaps Malmstrom’s best performance came against Southern New Hampshire in the second round of the Division II Championship. He gave up two early goals, but rebounded as the Pioneers battled back from a two-goal deficit in the final two minutes of action. With penalty kicks being needed to decide a winner, and with their season on the line, Malmstrom stopped multiple kicks that could have ended the Pioneer season in an absolute heartbreak.