A shot two minutes into overtime by Rogers State University pushed the Hillcats past the Oklahoma Christian University men’s soccer time 201, in the last home game for nine of the Eagle seniors on Thursday.
This was the seventh single-goal loss of the season for the Eagles, netting the Hillcats three more standing points as they head towards the postseason tournament.
As the game began, senior goalkeeper Even Helker, a four-year starter, started off in the net for the Eagles despite being injured and labeled out for the remainder of the season. After the opening kickoff, Rogers State deliberately kicked the ball out of bounds and was taken out of the game. Sophomore Gary Goldsboro Jr. then took this place.
Rogers State outshot the Eagles 18-12 and held more total possession time throughout the game.
After both teams went scoreless in the first half, the Hillcats took a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
It took Oklahoma Christian until the 80th minute to even things up as junior Anthony Buchanan drew the Rogers State goalkeeper out and passed the ball to senior Taylor Vanderford, who fired the ball into the net for his sixth career goal.
Both teams held each other tightly on the defensive end until the end of regulation until the 93rd minute when the Hillcats managed a goal and took the win.
Helker and Vanderford were honored before the game, alongside fellow seniors Seth Brown, Cody Cook, Sergio Flores, Cole Rinke, Ante Susic, Troy Tipperconnic and Cesar Zepeda.
“Well, obviously, the season didn’t go the way we wanted it to go,” Susic said. “We lost 13 games, but out of those 13, at least 11 games were close, tight games that were decided by one goal. That is something that kills your mentality. However, despite of all the problems that we experienced, we remained a team and played one for each other. I am done with my college career and as much as I am sad, I am also excited to see what is waiting in the next chapter of my life. I wish all the luck to coach Scott, this program and especially younger players who are going to play here in following years.”
In their next final game of the 2016 season on Saturday, Oklahoma Christian fell once more, this time to No. 11 ranked Midwestern State University 4-1.
Susic scored the only goal for the Eagles in the 49th minute on a 25-yard shot as, his fourth goal of the season.
Midwestern State jumped to an early lead after the 14th minute and once more in the 22nd minute to put up the 2-0 lead.
Their next goal would come in the 40th minute and again at the 45th minute to secure their 4-0 lead.
The Mustangs outshot the Eagles 30-11 and Goldsboro Jr., making his first career start, made eight saves.
Oklahoma Christian ended the season with a final record of 4-13-1 and 2-11-1 in the Heartland Conference.
The Lady Eagle soccer team fell behind early and were never able to catch back up as Newman University finished with a 3-0 victory on Thursday.
Newman outshot Oklahoma Christian 19-9. The Jets’ scored early off a long pass and shot in the fifth minute and in the 10th minute
The third goal for Newman came in the 50th minute and it clinched the game for them.
Oklahoma Christian goalkeeper sophomore Carina Schanz had seven saves.
In their last game of the season on Saturday, the Lady Eagles outshot Rogers State but still fell behind, losing 2-1.
Rogers State took the lead 1-0 in the 15th minute from the right wing but it was brought back to a tie in the 29th minute when freshman Jen Atherton did the opposite and knocked it in from the left.
It wasn’t until the 79th minute when Rogers State scored again and took away any chance for the Lady Eagles to come back and left the game with a 2-1 victory.
Schanz made four saves for the Lady Eagles, bringing her season total to 106 to give her the third-highest total in the Heartland Conference.
This was the last game for seniors Amanda Cooper and Sophia Brazil.
Oklahoma Christian ended the season with a record of 4-12-2 overall and 2-10-2 in Heartland Conference play.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.