A goal in the 59th minute by junior forward Christian Okeke propelled the No. 5 Midwestern State men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Texas A&M International in front of 1,002 fans Friday night at MSU Soccer Field.
A pass into the left side of the box from junior midfielder Leon Taylor found Okeke before he fired past TAMIU goalkeeper Miguel Lucio into the right corner of the net to provide the Mustangs with the only goal they would need for the night.
The Mustangs (5-0-0) totaled 25 shots in the contest while limiting the Dustdevils to eight shot attempts.
It was an aggressive battle between the two regional foes with 26 fouls being committed, 16 being whistled in the first period.
"They (TAMIU) played hard," Elder said. "They were working and pressing us with two and three numbers. Problem when you do that, it's hard to do that for 90 minutes unless you have a deep bench. I think they ran out of steam at the end. I give credit to their team. They always come here ready to play."
Midwestern State held an 11-6 advantage in shots and a 4-3 edge in shots on goal over TAMIU (1-3-0) in the first half. However, the Mustangs were not able to get a shot across Lucio, being held scoreless in the opening period for just the second time this season.
"I know we can play better," Elder said. "Our first half was bad. We played better in the second half. We had more energy and created more chances and started to break them down."
Midwestern came close to taking a 1-0 advantage in the 17th minute as a shot from senior midfielder Juan Farres hit underneath the crossbar and bounced down just inches from the goal line.
The Mustangs were able to attack the Dustdevils defense in the opening minutes of the second period as a shot by Okeke hit the post before senior forward Albert Rodriguez fired one on target.
The Dustdevils almost evened up the contest in the 73rd minute as forward Robert Dominguez beat junior goalkeeper Noah Fazekas to a loose ball outside the box, but Dominquez's shot went high of the goal to keep the Mustangs in front.
Fazekas (5-0-0) recorded his second-straight shutout and holds a 0.60 goals against average for the season after collecting three saves in 90 minutes of action Friday.
Rodriguez led the Mustangs with three shots on goal while Farres and junior midfielder Flavio Guzman each contributed two apiece.
The Mustangs close out their homestand Sunday with a 1 p.m. matchup against Newman (Kan.) at MSU Soccer Field.