NORTH NEWTON – After going through the brutal non-conference portion of their schedule, and opening up KCAC play with most of the top teams in the conference, the McPherson College men's soccer team was hoping for a little easier road as they moved into the second half of the KCAC schedule.
Through five KCAC games, the Bulldogs were 2-2-1. On Wednesday night, they went on the road to take on the winless Bethel College Threshers (0-9-1, 0-4-1 KCAC), hoping to get on a roll to finish their final 8 games of the season. Bethel, however, didn't play like a winless team. The Bulldogs dominated the play, but the Threshers absorbed everything the Bulldogs threw at them, and then made the most of a couple of opportunities that presented themselves.
The Threshers, despite being out shot by the Bulldogs in the opening half 12-1, got on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 24th minute. Their defense didn't break and their goal keeper came up big on numerous occasions during the remainder of the half. Heading into the halftime intermission, the Bulldogs trailed the Threshers 1-0.
In the second half, the Mac men came out with a sense of urgency, and that translated into a goal, just 2 minutes into the half, by David Mwinga, assisted by Chris Kelly. The momentum quickly faded however. In the 59th minute, a lapse by defense led to another go-ahead goal by the home team. Playing from behind, for the second time in the game, the Bulldogs again regrouped and found their form. In the 77th minute, Mwinga came through again. This time he stole a ball from the Threshers, on the left side as they tried to clear their defensive third. He cut the ball back to his right, and buried a ball in the back of the net with his right foot.
The Bulldogs had a couple of more good looks at goal late in the second half, but were unable to convert. Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, the two teams headed into golden goal overtime. Neither team was able to create much in the first 10 minute OT session, so they switched ends of the field, and started another 10 minute period. With time running out in overtime No.2 Sadam Ali beat his man on the right side of the field. He turned the corner and went one on one with the Bethel Keeper. He fired a shot from about 10 yards out from the right side of the box. The shot beat the goal keeper, but it hit the middle of the near post and deflected away. Fifty seconds later, time ran out and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Bulldogs had the ball on the Thresher side of the 50 for the majority of the game, dominating the time of possession. They out shot the home team 28 to 2, and had a 15 to 2 advantage in shots on goal. The Bulldogs scored on just 2 of the 15 shots on goal, while the Bethel men were a perfect 2 of 2.
Bulldog head coach, Doug Quint, summed up the match saying, "Sometimes the game can be very cruel and tonight was one of those nights. For us to create as many chances as we did and not be more clinical in front of goal is tough to swallow."
With the tie, the Bulldogs are now 2-6-3 overall on the season and 2-2-2 in the KCAC. They will look to get things going again this weekend when they travel to Lindsborg, Kansas for an 8 p.m. matchup on Saturday against the Bethany College Swedes.