No. 14 Midwestern State used a pair of second-half goals to power past Oklahoma City 2-0 in exhibition play Friday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.
Sophomore midfielder Andrew Power converted a through ball in the 62nd minute while junior forward VcMor Eligwe headed in a cross in the 66th minute - both off of serves from senior back Fernando Garza - to provide the scoring punch for the Mustangs.
"It wasn't bad for our first performance," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "It's ironic and strange that you have new players who don't know the mystique of the home field advantage of Midwestern. I thought our guys sensed that we just don't lose here at home. We played hard and we played strong and that's going to have to carry through a couple of games this year because of our youth and inexperience."
The Mustangs are currently riding a 41-match unbeaten streak at the MSU Soccer Field which dates back to the final regular season match of 2007. Exhibition results don't official factor into the run of success.
MSU outshot the Stars 17-6 for the match including an 8-4 edge in shots on goal.
Oklahoma City is picked to finish second in the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference after battling to a 7-6-4 mark in 2011.
"We're trying to build our confidence right away," Elder said. "We're trying to get them to play faster and make better decisions quicker. We had a better second half as we were able to do some things that we talked about at halftime."
The adjustments paid an immediate dividend when Garza battled for a ball off of the sideline from his left back position to serve a through ball through the heart of the field. Power touched the ball cleanly, dribbled twice and beat the OCU keeper to the bottom right corner of the net.
"That was a good run by Andrew," Elder said. "We knew they were playing flat and high in the back. We told them when they stepped up on our strikers that one of (our midfielders) needs to run through. Sure enough, the first time we tried it, it worked."
Four minutes later, freshman Ben Clarvis saved the ball off of the touchline and found Garza breaking forward near the corner of the box. Garza hit a low cross with Eligwe diving through to head in the Mustangs' second tally of the half.
Elder lauded the play of freshman center back Jevan Toledo as well as a trio of transfers in juniors Michael Brody (UAB), Anthony DeLaRosa (Central Arkansas) and Griff Stratford (Scottsdale CC).
"We're about where I expected us to be right now but we still have a long road ahead," Elder said.
Midwestern State battles Texas Wesleyan in its final exhibition match on Sat., Aug. 25 at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Mustangs open the regular season at home against Texas A&M International on Fri. Aug. 31. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.