FOREST CITY – The Waldorf University men's soccer team had its three-game winning streak ended at the hands of the Morningside College Mustangs.
The Mustangs (3-0-2) ended the Warriors' (4-3) previous winning streak by defeating them 2-1 in a very close match.
Waldorf fought hard against Morningside College, but it just couldn't find a way to get the equalizer against Mustangs starting goalkeeper Tim Erdmann (2-0-2).
Waldorf head coach Edgar Goenzaga attributes luck, or lack thereof, to why the Warriors lost despite outshooting the Mustangs 22-12.
"It was a very unlucky result," Gonzaga said after the loss. "We completely dominated the game but simply couldn't find the back of the net."
In addition to outshooting the Mustangs in total shots by a 10-shot margin, the Warriors also had the upper hand in terms of shots on goal. The Warriors had 13 shots on goal to the Mustangs' seven.
The Mustangs made the most of their fairly limited scoring opportunities. When the match reached the six-minute mark, Mustangs freshman forward Austin Lingle decided to test Warriors starting goalkeeper Corey Stephens with a shot that was 40 yards away from the net. Lingle's shot attempt went past the outstretched arms of Stephens and gave Morningside a 1-0 lead.
The Warriors would answer approximately three minutes later. After being awarded a free kick, junior midfielder Cameron Saul's shot went past a wall of defenders and into the net for the game-tying goal.
In addition to scoring Waldorf's only goal of the match, Saul also led his team in shots (5) and shots on goal (4). Jose Beltran finished second on the team with four total shots, with two of those being on net. Other notable players to get more than shot on goal were Jose Rincon (2) and Jean Bonnin (2).
Gonzaga was very impressed with how Saul and his teammates didn't let an early 1-0 deficit deter them from succeeding with their offensive gameplan.
"It was a great response by Cameron on his free kick goal," said Gonzaga.
The match remained tied as it entered the second half. Gonzaga states that although Morningside shut out Waldorf in the second half, Waldorf controlled time of possession for most of the match's second frame.
"We didn't concentrate for five minutes of the second half, and because of that, they punished us," said Gonzaga. "We chased the game thereafter and fell short at the end."
Waldorf lost 2-1, but it could have been even worse if not for the great effort of Stephens (4-3) between the pipes.
With the score still tied at 1-1, Joschua Schanda tried to score a goal in the 61st minute. As Schanda neared the penalty area, Waldorf defender Victor Leao tried to block the shot by sliding towards Scanda's shot attempt. This is an illegal move in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men's Soccer, which allowed Schanda to have a penalty kick.
Waldorf relied on Stephens to keep the game tied, and the junior from Cardiff, Wales did just that in dramatic fashion.
To Waldorf's dismay, Erdmann was just as good, if not better, than his counterpart in Stephens. Approximately two minutes after Stephens made his clutch save, Warriors midfielder Howard Sturgeon tried to get the game-winning goal. Erdmann would stand tall and keep the score deadlocked at a goal a piece by denying Sturgeon's shot.
Erdmann's save allowed the Mustangs to go back on the attack. The Mustangs were relentless on their attack, and after being awarded a corner kick, Pascal Kutschera's corner went directly to the head of Schanda. Schanda's header went past Stephens for the eventual game-winning goal.
However, the Warriors still had 25 minutes left in the match in order to tie it up at 2. It just wasn't meant to be for Waldorf in this one, as Erdmann shut the door down in net. He finished with 12 saves on 13 shots on goal, which was good enough for a .923 save percentage. In his six starts this season, Erdmann hasn't given up more than two goals in a match, has an undefeated goalkeeper record, and has one shutout thus far.
Waldorf had one last chance to tie up the match with under 20 seconds left in the second half. After being awarded a free kick, an unnamed Warriors player kicked the rebound into the net. However, during the shot attempt on the free kick, Erdmann elbowed an unnamed Warriors player. The officials negated the free kick and subsequent rebound shot and instead gave Erdmann a yellow card because a foul had occurred.
Waldorf will look to start a new winning streak when they up against Concordia University (4-0-1) on Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m. Gonzaga says the keys to Waldorf getting its fifth victory of the season are remaining focused throughout the game and sticking to the gameplan.
"We will come back from this. I trust the boys and my staff to get back into work on Monday and prepare for Wednesday's big game against the undefeated Concordia University (Neb.) Bulldogs," said Gonzaga.