The University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team stayed unbeaten in their last four matches with home victories against Bethany Lutheran and Martin Luther. The Cougars will take their 3-1-1 conference record into action next against Presentation, at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Cougars won in dramatic fashion Friday, scoring with less than seven minutes left to take a 1-0 victory over Bethany Lutheran.
UMM had just three shots on goal all day, but Matt Johnson made the last one count. At the 83:47 mark, Johnson broke free of the field, and after a sprint into the box, snuck the ball underneath the Viking goalkeeper for the deciding score.
The goal was the third of the season for Johnson, and his second game-winner. With three goals and seven points he also takes over the team lead in both categories.
Bethany Lutheran had plenty of chances in the match, taking 12 shots and landing five on goal. The Vikings had a near miss in the second half when a shot out of a crowd in front of the goal hit the cross bar, one of five shots they took in the period.
When the shots were on frame, Cougar goalkeeper Tyler Simpson was able to fight them off, coming up with several huge saves in the match, stopping one-on-one situations to persevere the shutout and the win. Simpson wins his fourth match of the year, and logs his fifth shutout.
Simpson made four saves in the second half alone, keeping Bethany Lutheran off the board.
Toby Glaser took three shots to lead UMM, and was one of five Cougars to fire off a shot.
The Vikings were led by Joe Nuah with a match-high four shots, en route to their 12 on the day.
There were 20 total fouls called in the match with 12 at the hands of the Vikings and eight coming courtesy of the Cougars.
Martin Luther 2
The Cougars scored another late victory Saturday, winning 3-2 in double overtime over Martin Luther.
With less than three minutes left in the second overtime, the Cougars' Greg Borchers lined up a free kick - following the game's 27th foul - and unleashed the game-winner over the wall of Knight defenders and past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper for the final mark in the 3-2 win.
It was an intense game all around, that saw over 107 minutes of play, 40 total shots, 27 fouls, four different goalkeepers, and five total goals.
Glaser took 10 shots in the game, and gave the Cougars their first lead with his goal at 14:06 of the first period. Glaser had already missed on several attempts early in the match, but made good on this one, point blank in front of the net on an assist from Jeff Lind.
Matt Vik scored the Cougars' second goal of the first half, but not until the Knights had gotten on the board just four minutes earlier. On a free kick after a foul, Martin Luther's Kaleb Buch beat Simpson to tie the match at 31:02. Vik then answered at 35:35 to give the lead back to UMM.
Up 2-1, the Cougars took their lead into halftime, but came out with a different goalkeeper as Simpson was forced to sit out the second half after an injury on the free-kick goal from MLC. Freshman Adam Kounkel was inserted and played well, until Martin Luther tied it back up with a goal in the 89th minute after a scramble in front of the net.
The 2-2 score held until the end of regulation and into overtime. However, in the first extra session, Kounkel was red carded after a collision with a Knight offender when Kounkel came out of the box and was the last line of defense. Kounkel was ejected, another freshman, Zachary Van Cleve, was sent in net, and the Cougars had to play a man down for the rest of the match.
UMM held serve for the rest of the first overtime, and Borchers finished off the win in the second. The Cougars controlled the game and outshot the Knights 25-15 on the match, but the Knights held the shots edge, 2-1 in the two overtimes combined.
Van Cleve gets his first career win in the nets, finishing with one save, and helping UMM to their third straight win.