Cougar men split UMAC home opener weekend
The University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team hosted two matches at Cougar Field last weekend, dropping a 1-0 match to St. Scholastica and winning a 7-0 game with Northland.
With the split the Cougars stand at 4-3-2 on the season and are 3-1-0 in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play.
St. Scholastica 1
The Cougars squared off with rival St. Scholastica at Cougar Field Friday, Sept. 23 and fell 1-0 on a lone second-half Saint goal.
It was a standard Cougar-Saint match-up on the pitch, fast-paced, physical, goals at a premium, and highly intense. If you didn't see the score and just watched the pace of the game, you'd be wise to think the Cougars had won.
St. Scholastica remained undefeated at 7-1-0 overall and 4-0-0 in UMAC play.
Morris took the first seven shots of the game, on their way to a 15-6 advantage. St. Scholastica could only manage three shots in either half, with just one shot on goal. The shot total was the third highest of the season for the Cougars, and the most allowed by the Saints this season. The Cougars had not been outshot in their last three matches.
The Saints made their one on goal count though, as Brandon Stemwedel got behind the defense at the 60:49 mark for his fourth goal of the season. One of the rare times the Saints had the ball deep in Cougar territory, the ball was ricocheting between the CSS offenders and the UMM backline, before bouncing out to Stemwedel on the right.
The score was a back-breaker for the Cougars, and was made worse by the fact that just minutes earlier, they had their best chance to take the first lead of the game. Out wide on the left, Ebrima Badgie took a beautiful touch on a cross-field pass, and fired off a rocket that Saint goalkeeper Sam Reed had to lay out to stop.
With Reed on the ground, Matt Johnson was then in perfect position to bang in the rebound. He leapt into the air for a header, facing a wide open meet, but before the ball could cross the line, Reed had recovered to stop the attempt.
The Cougars kept the pressure on in the second, out-shooting the Saints 6-3 in the period, but were unable to tie the match, despite possessing the ball for much of the final 45 minutes.
Toby Glaser led the way with a game-high five shots, but just one on goal. The Cougars finished with five shots on goal in the match, coming from five different players.
Included were Johnson and Badgie, who each also had two total shots.
Goalkeeper Tyler Weber saw his scoreless streak end at a season-long 310:44, but still has yet to allow multiple goals in a game since the season opener.
The Cougars drop their third straight to the Saints, after tying in Duluth in their first meeting last season. Morris has not beaten St. Scholastica since a 1-0 victory on Oct. 3, 2009.
The Cougars got back in the win column in a big way Sunday, scoring a season-high seven goals while shutting out Northland.
Ebrima Badgie scored three goals over a six-minute span midway through the first half, and the Cougars were in cruise control form there on out.
Morris came into the game with four goals on the season, having yet to get over one in a game, but smashed out of that lull with the most goals they've scored since last season against Northland, when they also beat the LumberJacks 7-0 on Sept. 26, 2010.
Northland remained winless at 8-0-0 overall.
Northland was held to just one shot in the first half, and a mere three on the day, the fewest Morris has allowed this season.
Badgie's hat trick started at the 23:00 minute mark, with one of his two goals on assists from Matt Johnson. At 26:07, Badgie scored an unassisted tally, taking a rebound off the post, and at 29:23 he again finished a pass from Johnson, this time after Johnson corralled a ball off the post before sending it to an open Badgie.
He is the first Cougar to log a multiple goal game since Toby Glaser did it on Oct. 8 last season, and he records the first hat trick since Brett Diggs completed the trifecta against Presentation on Oct. 31, 2009
William Wachutka closed the first half scoring at 33:44, giving the Cougars a 4-0 lead into the break.
Johnson opened the second half with his first goal of the year, this time turning the tables and taking a feed from Badgie. The Cougars got an own goal from Northland later in the second half, before Michael Schuweiler wrapped up the scoring with his first goal as a Cougar.
The Cougars' 27 shots were easily the most they've put up this season, bettering their 21 against Crown in the UMAC opener. Morris also had 13 shots on goal in the match, more than double their previous season best.
Johnson led the way with nine shots, while Badgie had eight. A season-high 22 players saw time in the match, with eight recording at least one shot.
For the fifth time on the season the Cougars pitch a shutout, having allowed just two goals in the last seven games. Between the pipes for every minute of the season, goalkeeper Tyler Weber is now just one shutout shy of his career high of six set his sophomore season in 2009, and now sits with 19 in his career.
The Cougars now hit the road for their next four games, and do not return to Cougar Field until late October