Midwestern State sent in droves of players in its exhibition opener, falling to NCAA Division I Central Arkansas 2-1 in Edmond, OK Monday night.
"I was pleased for the most part," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We tried to play a lot of people and never found a rhythm. It's early and it was our first day to even practice altogether."
The Mustangs, who played 20 field players, got off to a sluggish start in the opening half but managed to claw its way to the intermission tied at 1-1.
Senior Albert Rodriguez trapped a ball on a restart late in the opening half and blasted it past the UCA keeper for the equalizer.
"It was a nice serve on a restart," Elder said. "He trapped it and killed it."
Midwestern changed tactics to put five players in the midfield in the second half as the Bears were able to net the decider midway through the stanza.
"Off the top of my head, I think we outshot them 10-4," Elder said. "We just have to figure out the right combinations. We will get back to work tomorrow and try to improve. We have to get our guys finishing our opportunities."
Elder lauded the play of junior strikers Flavio Guzman and Christian Okeke, senior midfielder Juan Farres and senior defender Jevan Toledo.
"We played much better in the second half," he said. "Christian was able to create some problems with his speed."
The Mustangs take on a solid Hastings (Neb.) side Thursday morning at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.