The Cougars' shut-out streak continues with wins over Northwestern and Crown in men's soccer action. The victories put the University of Minnesota, Morris in a tie with St. Scholastica for the lead in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
The Cougars have yet to yield a goal to a UMAC opponent this season. The wins makes five straight shutouts for the Cougars by a combined margin of 18-0.
Despite 90 minutes of steady rain, the Cougars scored early en route to a 5-0 win over visiting Northwestern Friday, Sept. 25. The visiting Eagles came into the game 1-6.
Senior forward Brent Diggs opened the scoring in the seventh minute finishing off a header pass from midfielder Patrick O'Connor. It was Diggs' fifth tally of the year, and just the first of three game assists for O'Connor.
Diggs struck again 12 minutes later on a touch-touch pass from O'Connor and midfielder Toby Glaser.
Kelsey Duerr's first goal of the game came in the 36th minute, assisted by O'Connor again.
First year forward Mahad Abdi notched his first career goal nine minutes later, and just 20 seconds before the end of the half.
The Cougars entered the intermission leading 4-0.
Duerr scored another goal (assisted by Mattson Towley) early in the second half, after which head coach Christian DeVries cleared his bench, which preserved the shutout.
As has been the trend for the Cougars in the last five games, they dominated time of possession with adept and quick passing. The defensive line of Greg Borchers, Dana Veth and Justin O'Connor once again insured that goalkeeper Tyler Simpson would see little pressure during the match. Northwestern managed only eight shots for the game (only two in the second half) compared to the Cougars' 26.
Over the past four games, the Cougars have outscored their opponents 17-0 and for the season have tripled the number of shots taken (186-65).
Minnesota, Morris 4
Crown College 0
The Cougar men's soccer team continued its torrid streak through conference play with a 4-0 shutout of visiting Crown College Saturday.
UMM outshot Crown 27-3 and allowed the Purple Storm just one shot on goal.
The Cougars opened the scoring nine minutes into the game when Duerr scored off an assist from seniors Diggs and Patrick O'Connor.
Fifteen minutes later, Duerr recorded his second goal of the game, knocking home a long, looping cross from first year player Matt Vik.
Vik then got into the scoring column just before halftime. Taking a back pass from Duerr, he surprised the Crown defense with a blast from 35 yards out that found the top corner of the net.
Diggs added a late second-half goal to round out the scoring.
While much of the credit for the wins is due to the strong play of Veth, Justin O'Connor, and Borchers, the back three are reluctant to accept such praise.
"It's the guys up front who keep possession of the ball. They make our job easy," said O'Connor.
The Cougars host conference rival St. Scholastica Saturday and Northland College on Sunday. St. Scholastica won the regular season conference title last season, but lost to the Cougars in the conference finals.