After traveling to Portales, NM, the Oklahoma Christian University men’s soccer team fell 3-2 in the last 15 minutes of play against Eastern New Mexico University in both team’s Heartland Conference opener Sept. 14.
Eastern New Mexico scored the first two goals of the game, both within the first 25 minutes of play, giving them an early 2-0 lead.
The Eagles went scoreless in the first half of the second until the 58th minute when junior Vanja Hodovic knocked a 7-foot shot in off of a free kick by freshman Sebastian Capkovic.
Nearly 20 minutes later, sophomore Garrett Blume scored off a headed pass from sophomore Jaiden van der Heijden to tie the game up 2-2 in the 75th minute.
Eastern New Mexico’s Nicolai Alstrom hit in a free kick from 29 yards out to give the Greyhounds the final goal at the 83:29 mark and the 3-2 victory.
“Soccer is a game where the best team does not always win,” Hodovic said. “We had a lack of focus in some moments in the last couple of games that cost us the victory. We will try to fix that and win two home games that are coming this weekend.”
Oklahoma Christian outshot the Greyhounds 17-12 and sophomore goalie Gianluca Marchetti ended the game with four saves.
Following their game in New Mexico, the Eagles traveled to play West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX Sept. 16.
The first goal of the game came in the 35th minute, as West Texas A&M’s Reece Schattle pushed past the defense to score.
Oklahoma Christian answered back by Blume heading in a throw-in from senior Anthony Buchanan in the 43rd minute to tie the game 1-1. Blume holds the team high for goals this season at three.
The Buffaloes scored 46 seconds after Blume’s goal before heading into halftime.
Following the break, the Buffaloes outshot the Eagles 12-0 in the second half and 17-5 for the game, which lead to three more goals for West Texas A&M.
Marchetti was credited with two saves as Oklahoma Christian lost 5-1 and fell to 2-3 in the season, 0-2 in conference play.
“I feel excellent about the team going into this weekend,” Hodovic said. “I know we will bring our best because these two games are crucial for a successful season.”
The Lady Eagles fell behind Dallas Baptist University early and did not get the chance to make a comeback as they lost 4-0 Sept. 14 at home.
Dallas Baptist outshot Oklahoma Christian 26-5, 12-0 in the first half. Brittany Eccles tapped in the ball while sophomore goalkeeper Addison Milner was still on the ground following a deflection.
Milner made 10 saves, giving her all three of the top single-game save totals in the league so far, this season. She is also ranked ninth in the NCAA Division II women’s soccer in saves with 45 on the season so far.
Following the loss to Dallas Baptist, Oklahoma Christian hosted the 5th ranked team in the NCAA Division II standings, St. Edwards University Sept. 16.
For the second straight game, the Lady Eagles were held to single-digit shots, as the Hilltoppers outshot them 30-4, 13-1 in the first half. St. Edwards scored three times in the first half.
The lone goal in the second half came at the 67:22 mark when Dominique Giannini beat Milner in a one-on-one to give the Hilltopers the 4-0 lead.
Both teams will play Sept. 21, when the men’s team takes on Newman University 7 p.m. at home. The Lady Eagles kickoff a six-game road trip playing Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX at 7 p.m.