A pair of goals in the final seven minutes of the first period was enough for the Midwestern State University men's soccer team to pull out a 2-0 exhibition victory Thursday over Hastings (Neb.) at the MSU Soccer Field.
"We played good at times and other times we gave the ball away too much," said head coach Doug Elder. "I thought we got a little tired in the second half. We had a good three-hour session yesterday morning so our legs might have been a little bit dead."
After three shots on goal early in the first half, MSU got on the board in the 39th minute with a strike from junior forward Cody Schultz. A centering feed by senior forward Albert Rodriguez deflected off the hands of Hastings' goalkeeper Alex Guyer, then senior defender Javan Toledo headed it toward the goal, then Schultz tracked down the loose ball inside the box to fire past the final Hastings defender for a 1-0 Mustangs advantage.
Just over a minute later, a header from junior forward/midfielder Leon Taylor found the net off a corner kick from Rodriguez to give Midwestern a 2-0 cushion heading into halftime.
The Mustangs, who totaled seven shots during the first 45 minutes of action, kept the Broncos in check during the first period, limiting the visitors to just three shot attempts.
Hastings looked to trim down the deficit in the opening minutes of the second period, firing off three shots in the first two minutes of the half. However, sophomore goalkeeper Richard Goss kept the Broncos off the scoreboard by recording the Mustangs' lone save of the day.
Rodriguez led the Mustangs with four shots, placing one on goal. Taylor finished with a team-best two shots on goal for MSU.
The Mustangs finished with a 14-10 advantage in shots, placing six on goal compared to Hastings' one.
"We need to get better offensively, and work on keeping and passing the ball better and finishing opportunities," Elder said. "On the defensive end, we need to stay a little more organized for 90 (minutes). I thought we did well the first half, and then they really started pressing us and that broke us down a little."
Midwestern returns to the pitch Friday, Aug. 28 when the Mustangs take on Oklahoma Baptist in a 7 p.m. scrimmage at the MSU Soccer Field.