The University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team extended its winning streak to six straight Saturday, but the winning ended with a loss to St. Scholastica Sunday at Cougar Field.
The Cougars are 8-4-3 overall and are 7-2-1 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Saints improved to 12-3-1 and 9-0-1 in the UMAC.
The Cougars now sit two games back in the win column from the unbeaten and first-place Saints with four games left in the season. Hot on UMM's heels in third place is Northwestern, whom the Cougars match up next with, traveling to St. Paul for a 1:30 p.m. tilt on Oct. 22.
On Saturday, the Cougars notched a 6-0 win over Northland at Cougar Field.
Six different players found the net, including the first career game-winner from Matt Bennis under 12 minutes into the match. After a point-blank shot from Greg Borchers was stopped by the LumberJack keeper, Bennis was there to clean up and tap the ball in for the early 1-0 lead.
The Cougars outshot the Jacks 26-3, while landing 23 shots on goal.
Northland fell to 1-12 overall and 0-9-0 in the UMAC. Northland was paced by goalkeeper Matt Larsen who made 15 saves in the match, limiting the damage.
The Cougars' Toby Glaser scored his team-leading seventh goal late in the first half, giving UMM an insurmountable 3-0 lead at halftime. Glaser led all players with six shots in the match, with five of them landing on goal.
The 3-0 lead stood for 20 minutes in the second half, until Matt Vik opened the scoring back up with a goal off a crossing pass from Matt Johnson. Johnson added a goal of his own just 41 seconds later, and finished with five points in the match adding three total assists.
In a quiet day for the goalkeeper, Tyler Weber stopped the only two shots he saw to record his second straight win and third shutout of the season.
The Cougars held an 8-0 edge in corners and were flagged for 16 fouls in a physical match that saw 28 combined fouls called.
Seven different players finished with a point for UMM.
St. Scholastica 1
The Cougars played even for 86 minutes with St. Scholastica Sunday, but an 87th minute goal from the Saints gave the visitors the 1-0 win.
UMM struggled to get things going offensively for much of the match, and finished with one of their lowest totals of the season with just three shots. Much of the play happened in the Cougar zone, with defense coming up big, time and time again and forcing the Saints into bad shots. Of the 28 shots taken by St. Scholastica, only eight were on frame.
Cougar goalkeeper Tyler Simpson was his usual self between the pipes, stopping seven shots - some from point-blank range - and defending against eight corners and numerous crossers.
Before scoring the winning goal, a foul call on the Cougars just outside the penalty box gave the Saints a free kick from 25 yards out. The St. Scholastica attempt brushed off the shoulder of the end man on the Cougars' wall and seemed destined for the goal. Simpson then made one of his biggest saves of the day, punching the ball over the cross bar, preserving the tie for another moment.
As the Saints' shots continued to mount, the pressure finally overcame the Cougar defense, with the winning goal at 86:16. It was then that St. Scholastica's Jermaine Dacres took a shot from the left side of the goal that made it past Simpson on its way to the back right corner of the net.
A crossing pass from Greg Doornick set up the play as the Cougars found themselves trailing with just 3:42 left.
Vik notched the Cougars' only shot on goal, as the front line found their chances few and far between. On the other end, the back line of Ryan Cadigan, Kevin Haider, Ben Shabb, and Scott DeVries were kept busy, but were up to the task, continually turning away CSS chances.
It was also senior day out at Cougar Field as Simpson, Jeff Lind, and Chris Blahna all played their final home game.