No. 2 Midwestern State used a quick start to jump on No. 8 Truman Thursday in the NCAA Division II South Central Region championship at the MSU Soccer Field and hung on for the 3-2 victory.
The Bulldogs saved a ball off of the line in the opening minute after David Freeland tracked a long serve from MSU goalkeeper Michael Wood for a shot at the open net, but David Friesen raced in to knock the ball out of the goal mouth.
The teams exchanged opportunities over the next 12 minutes before Truman was whistled for a hand ball in the box. Junior defender Dean Lovegrove converted the penalty kick for his third goal of the season to give the Mustangs a 1-0 advantage in the 21st minute.
The Mustangs pushed the lead to 2-0 when Sam Broadbent's header into the box found senior midfielder Bryce Taylor, who redirected with a header of his own for his sixth tally of the season.
Truman would battle back in the second half.
Matt Kimball tracked down a loose ball in the Bulldogs' offensive third and beat Wood to the lower left corner for his third goal of the season to pull Truman within a goal.
But the Mustangs pushed the lead to 3-1 in the 61st minute as Tex McCullough headed in Lovegrove's serve off of a corner kick in the 61st minute.
The Bulldogs pulled back within a goal on a Dan Meagher goal in the 88th minute, but the Mustangs hung on for the win.
Midwestern improved to 17-0-2 on the season by extending its home field unbeaten streak to 31 matches. The Mustangs are no 11-0 at the MSU Soccer Field this season.
MSU plays host to No. 2 Colorado Mines in the second round of the NCAA Division II Championship Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
Colorado Mines rallied from an early deficit to bury Regis (Colo.) 5-1 early Friday afternoon in Golden.
Truman ends the season at 12-3-2.
Note: MSU students with a valid ID will be admitted into Sunday's playoff match with a ticket courtesy of the MSU Student Services and the MSU Soccer Alumni Association.