The Forester men's soccer team clinched its second consecutive Midwest Conference championship and the 16th league title in program history on Saturday by defeating visiting Lawrence University 3-0. Lake Forest will host the MWC Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Lake Forest finished the regular season with a 12-6-0 overall record and a 9-1-0 mark in conference play. Lawrence fell to 7-10-1 overall and 5-5-0 in the league.
The Foresters took the lead six minutes into the game when senior Alexi Spiratos dribbled toward the middle of the field from the left side and kicked the ball along the ground between the Lawrence goalkeeper and the left post from 30 yards out. It was his second goal of the season.
Lake Forest had a 9-0 advantage in shots in the first half but did not score again in the period.
The Foresters finally created a little breathing room when senior Steven Johnson fed classmate Mahir Mameledzija in the middle of the field and Mameledzija avoided a Vikings defender before sending the ball past the goalie to make the score 2-0. It was the 100th goal scored in the last four years by members of this year's Forester senior class, which was recognized before their final regular season home game.
Mameledzija struck again just 76 seconds later. After stealing the ball from a defender 30 yards from the goal, he dribbled past the goalie and tapped in his second score of the game and conference-leading 18th this season. He also leads the league with 38 points.
A pair of senior goalkeepers blanked the Vikings for Lake Forest's ninth shutout in 18 games this season. Ethan Guenther played the first 70 minutes and 30 seconds before giving way to Giancarlo Colasanti for the final 29:30.
Carroll University will be the number two seed in next weekend's MWC Tournament, St. Norbert College three, and Knox College four. The Foresters will face Knox Friday morning at 11:00 and Carroll will take on St. Norbert at 1:30 p.m. The winners will play for the league's automatic bid the NCAA Tournament Saturday at noon.