The University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team opened Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play with a win over visiting Crown College and a tie versus Northwestern.
Now at 2-2-3 overall and 1-0-1 in the UMAC, the Cougars return to action this weekend on the road at St. Scholastica Saturday and at Northland on Sunday.
The Cougars started conference action with a 2-0 victory against Crown on Friday, Sept. 17.
After a scoreless first half, the Cougars' Matt Johnson got the home team on the board first with a goal after beating the defender one-on-one. The highlight of the match, Johnson took the centering pass and sent the ball left of the defender while he went right, catching back up with the ball on the other side. Once there he fired off a shot inside the far post for the 1-0 lead at the 51:52 mark.
"It got played around the back to Kevin [Haider] on the outside," Johnson said of the goal. "And he played it into my feet and let it run through my legs, and luckily it went through the defenders' legs too. Then it was just me and the keeper, and I went to the corner."
The goal was the first of the season for Johnson, and he took it off the first assist of the year from Kevin Haider.
Johnson finished with four shots on the match and a game-high three on the goal. Teammate Toby Glaser ( fired off a game-high six shots on the day, finishing with one on goal, while adding an assist to his stat line.
Late in the match, with the Cougars still clinging to a 1-0 lead, Glaser connected a pass to Michael Ward just in front of the net, that Ward buried for his first goal of the year, giving UMM the final 2-0 decision.
The Cougars held the advantage all game long, outshooting the Storm 24-7, including 13-4 in the second half. Coming off a player-of-the-week performance last week, goalkeeper Tyler Simpson had lighter work, finishing with one save, stopping the only shot on goal that the stout UMM defense allowed. Simpson played all 90:00 minutes to collect his second win of the year.
The Cougars held a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal and out-cornered the Storm 9-1 in the match as well. Despite the scoreless opening half, the Cougars had the pressure on early, firing a barrage of shots in the first half and controlling the play early.
The Cougars got a scare from Northwestern Saturday, but survived with a 1-1 tie.
The defending UMAC champions were on the ropes after Northwestern (2-2-2, 1-0-1) scored the first goal of the game with less than five minutes left to play in the match. UMM had controlled much of the play, outshooting the Eagles 14-8 in the match, but it was Northwestern who got the upper hand with the first goal.
As the countdown of the final 10 seconds began, and with the Cougars staring at their first conference defeat, Ryan Cadigan corralled a pass from Ward and got the one that counted, beating the Eagle keeper for the tying score at the 89:55 mark.
The goal was the first of the season for Cadigan, with the assist marking the first of the season for Ward.
In the extra session, defense prevailed, as neither team was able to create great scoring chances as they played to the tie. The only two shot attempts came courtesy of the Cougars in the first overtime, while the second overtime saw no team able to fire off an attempt.
Simpson collected the tie between the pipes and stays unbeaten on the year at 2-0-2. Simpson finished with seven saves in the match.
Cadigan finished with four shots on the day to lead all players, while Johnson landed all three of his shot attempts on goal.
As they have much of the season, UMM held the advantage in corner kicks, 2-0 over Northwestern