The McPherson College men's soccer team wrapped up the non-conference portion of its 2019 schedule with a 3-2 loss at home against the Midland University Warriors.
Despite having six key players sidelined for this contest due to varying circumstances, the Bulldogs hung right with the Warriors, who are one of the top teams in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. In both halves of play on Saturday, the Bulldogs played uncharacteristically unfocused and disjointed soccer.
In the opening half, there were two mental breakdowns defensively in the first 12 minutes of play, spotted the Warriors a 2-0 lead. In the 32-minute of action, the Bulldogs got one of those goals back off a rebound by Guido Battistini. Carlos Reyna got the play started with a cross from the left side. Marcus Fernandes headed the ball off of the right goal post. The ball ricocheted off the post to Battistini who hammered it home.
That goal gave the Bulldog side new life. They were quicker to the ball, and their touches were much crisper. Just before the halftime intermission, the Bulldogs set up for a corner kick. Reyna played in inswinger to the penalty spot where 6-foot-1 Marcus Brasley elevated and headed the ball into the back of the net.
The intermission came at a bad time for the Bulldogs. They held all of the momentum in the final minutes of the half, but after a 15 minute break, the Warriors regained their composure , came out more aggressive and put the pressure on the Bulldogs. Their intensity resulted in a goal in the 48-minute mark to put them back on top 3-2. The Bulldogs really only had one quality look in the second half, but a beautiful ball through the six yard box was just a hair too heavy, and Samuel Box just missed the equalizer on the far post.
"We were so bad out of the gate," Bulldog head coach Doug Quint said. "For us to be down two goals so early on our home pitch was completely unacceptable, but I loved the fight we showed to get back into the game and equalize before half-time. We felt pretty good about the last twenty minutes of the first half and were glad to be back into the game. That is a good side we played today "
The Bulldogs finished the nonconference portion of the schedule at 2-3, and have had several guys get banged up.
"The best thing for us is the break we have now coming up," Quint said. :Time is our friend. We have a ton of guys injured at the moment and having that break is going to allow us time to get healthy before conference. Right now that is our focus."
The Bulldogs have the next 10 days off before kicking off the KCAC season on the 24th on the road against the Tabor College Bluejays.