The Central Christian College men's soccer team capped off a great night Friday with a thrilling 1-0 win over the University of St. Mary Spires. It may not have been quite as exciting as the women's golden-goal finish, but it had its own flare for the dramatic.
Things were fairly mundane in the opening half. Both teams had one nice look at the goal, forcing the other team's net-minder to make a save, but that was really about it.
Things changed in 70th minute and ironically it came on a long ball. One of the Tiger defenders was fouled deep in the Tigers' defensive third of the field. Tiger goal keeper Luis Soto, played a ball from the 6-yard box that bounced easily 15 yards past the midfield line. It was a perfectly driven ball that freshman Joshua Taylor collected in stride. Taylor beat one defender and then buried a shot past the keeper who was charging off of his line.
With under 10 minutes to play in regulation, the Spires began to put more pressure on the Tigers. Luis Soto was called for an infraction inside the 6-yard box and the Spires were given a point-blank shot. Soto came up big, blocking the shot and then the ball was cleared by the defense. Minutes later the Spires had a free kick hit the cross bar, and shortly after that Soto was called upon once again to make a diving save on a blistering shot by the Spires. In the end the 1-0 score held up giving the Tiger men their first win of the season.
"That was an exciting game,” CCC coach Aaron Hoxie said. "I was very happy to see how we have progressed from one year to the next."
Hoxie noted that the game was a tale of two halves.
"I think we were able to lead the charge in the first half, with more possession, and some good looks on goal,” he said. “In the second half, USM was able to find the gaps in our lines and exploit us. Our lack of concentration on the ball, contributed to their second-half success."
Hoxie lauded the play of Soto saying, "Some good goal keeping play from Luis kept us in the match, and I believe he got the assist as well. Despite their second half dominance, we were able to create the chance that was needed in order to win the match. Isn't that the beauty of soccer though?"
The Tigers will take their 1-0 record across town for a match on Wednesday afternoon with McPherson College. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at McPherson Stadium.