The McPherson College men's soccer team bounced back from a disappointing loss on the road last Saturday at Southwestern College with a double overtime win on Wednesday at home against the Friends University Falcons.
Friends is a talented side and their speed and quickness caused problems for the Bulldogs in the opening 45 minutes of action. Fortunately for the home side, Val Bravo the Bulldog net minder, kept the visitors off the board in the first half.
The Bulldog coaching staff made a couple of tactical changes at halftime that led to a few more offensive opportunities in the second half. Midway through the second half, Samuel Box nearly broke the tie, but his shot from inside the six yard box went off the crossbar.
With less than five minutes to play in regulation, the Bulldogs failed to clear a ball on a free kick and the Falcons capitalized. They got in behind the Bulldog defense and found the back of the net to go up 1-0. For a moment the Falcon goal looked like it would be the game winner, but with less than 30 ticks on the clock, Jorge Abdiel Ramos Hernandez hit one of the most improbable shots. He collected a ball at about the 35-yard line and lofted a ball toward the Falcon goal. The ball was on target, and it slipped just under the crossbar and over the outstretched hand of the Falcon goalkeeper for the equalizer.
The goal gave the Bulldogs new life heading into overtime, but they were unable to find the game winner in the first 10 minutes of extra time. However, just a minute and seven seconds into the second session, Evariste Abeli, who was subbed in late in the first overtime period, cracked a shot that again went off the cross bar. This time however, the fall went back into the field of play and Marcus Fernandes was waiting to bury it in the back of the net to give the Bulldogs the golden goal win.
"I'm so proud of our young team overcoming so much adversity and finding a way to win tonight," Bulldog Head coach Doug Quint said. "We knew it was going to be a battle and it certainly was. I loved the fight we showed."
The win evens the Bulldogs' overall record at 4-4, and puts them one game above .500 in KCAC conference play at 2-1. They will look to continue building momentum when they take the Pitch again on Saturday for another home stand, this time against Ottawa University. The Bulldogs and Braves will kick it off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. following the women's game.