FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s Men’s Soccer team kicked off its home slate on Wednesday under the lights at Heedum Field, but couldn’t secure the win in a tightly-contested match.
The Warriors fell 2-1 to the visiting Grand View Vikings in double overtime to conclude a long, physical night. The game saw a total of 25 fouls and three yellow cards. Those figures don’t include two other dust-ups that saw players for both teams exchanging words after hard plays.
“We’re going to play a lot of tough games like that,” said Midland head coach Raphael Martinez. “We’ve got to find some grit or something that can push us over the edge.”
Grand View got the scoring started in the 30th minute as Aaron Williams managed to get behind the Midland defense on a long run out. The pass from Joe Streitlien led him well enough to get around keeper Mon Scheepers and poke one in to make it 1-0.
The Warriors were able to respond 10 minutes later as James Kilburn laced in a penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1. That goal was made possible by Mike Eijgendaal who was tackled in the box after he made a long run to get past the Vikings defense.
Midland went into halftime with the score even despite missing some opportunities. The Warriors had four corner kicks in the first half, compared to zero for the Vikings, but came away from those scoring chances empty-handed. Those four first half corners were the only four for either team in the game.
The score remained tied through regulation as both teams totaled just four shots. That trend continued into the first overtime as each team managed just one scoring opportunity apiece.
In the second overtime, Williams again caught the Midland defense out of position and ended the game in the 101st minute after another long run out led to a goal, this time on a pass from Philipp Amann.
Williams and the Vikings spoiled the Midland home-opener with a pair of goals that developed in nearly identical ways. The Warriors failed to recognize those chances as they came to fruition, and that ultimately made the difference.
“We need players to step up. Everyone has to do their job”, Martinez said. “The guys train hard, it’s just the mental focus is what needs to be there consistently throughout the game.”
Despite the disappointing result, Martinez ensures that the team is far from being in crisis mode. It’s still a long season, and at this stage, ever game is still a learning experience.
“We’re looking forward to the trip to Chicago,” Martinez said. “It should be fun and be a good experience for the guys, and we will play two really good teams.”
Midland (1-1) travels this weekend to play a pair of games in Iowa and Illinois. First, the Warriors stop in Davenport, Iowa for a game at St. Ambrose (0-1) on Saturday, August 31, at 7:00 p.m. Midland will then go from there to Bourbonnais, Illinois for a 12:00 p.m. matchup against No. 19 Olivet Nazarene (1-0) on Labor Day.