FREMONT, Neb. – On a chilly night Midland University’s men’s soccer team took to the pitch to take on the Morningside College. After falling behind, the Warriors came back to win a five goal thriller over the Mustangs 3-2, to move to 8-5 overall and 5-1 in Great Plains Athletic Conference play. Midland handed Morningside their first conference loss on the season as they drop to 8-4-1, 6-1 in GPAC play. The victory was the tenth consecutive win against the Mustangs dating back to 2011.
Morningside controlled most the first half, scoring twice near the midway point to put the Warriors down 2-0. Looking at a big deficit to come back from, the Warriors kept their composure, settled into the game and started to put together some good attacks to put the pressure back on the Mustangs. With less than five seconds left in the first half, the referee stopped play to issue a yellow card to Morningside about 22 yards out from their own goal. Captain James Kilburn stepped up for the Warriors and delivered a stunning free kick to put the home side on the board with just two ticks left in the half, shifting the momentum to the Warriors heading into the break.
After a quick scare at the beginning of the second half, Midland was dominant on both sides the ball. In the 69th minute defender, Christian Sanchez, scored the game tying goal when he found a bouncing ball in the box and leveled the scored, 2-2. The goal was Sanchez’s first on the season and first as a Warrior.
As the quality of play continued to increase for the Warriors, they were able take advantage of another poor decision by the Mustangs. In the 72nd minute, the Mustangs fouled inside the box giving Midland a chance to pull ahead with a penalty kick. James Kilburn was called upon to take the kick and connected on a ball that went straight up the middle to put the Warriors up 3-2.
With a few more chances at net, and twenty more minutes of defending, the final whistle blew and the comeback for the Warriors was complete.
When asked about the electrifying victory by his team, head coach Raphael Martinez had this to say. “I’m proud of the fight, effort, and urgency the guys played with in the second half. Now if we could only start the game that way it would be great. We dug ourselves a hole but we did fantastic to get out of it. This was a huge three points for us tonight.”
Midland (8-5, 5-1 GPAC) will hit the road to take on Mount Marty (2-5-2, 0-3-2 GPAC) this Saturday in Yankton, South Dakota. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. at the fields inside the National Field Archery Association.