First half goals from senior forward Albert Rodriguez and junior forward Cody Schultz carried the No. 3 Midwestern State men's soccer team to a 3-0 shutout win over Rogers State in front of 809 fans Monday evening at MSU Soccer Field.
With the win, Midwestern State pushed its unbeaten streak to 13 matches with a 12-0-1 record on the season while Rogers State dropped to 9-5-3.
"I thought it was a good game," said head coach Doug Elder. "We knew they were going to come in pretty strong and ready to play. This is the World Cup for them. I think we're still playing a little sporadic at times. Sometimes we play really good and the next time we don't keep the ball like we need to. I think it's more of a concentration thing. I really give them (Rogers State) credit because they really played hard the whole game."
The Mustangs made their shots count in the first period, netting three goals on five shots.
Rodriguez added to his team-best scoring total with the Mustangs' first two scores of the night to reach 14 goals on the season. Junior midfielder Flavio Guzman found Rodriguez on the left side of the box before he flicked the ball over a charging goalkeeper to find the net on the Mustangs' first shot attempt in the 14th minute.
Rodriguez added to the MSU lead less than three minutes later as junior midfielder Leon Taylor passed a ball into the middle of the box to Rodriguez before some fancy footwork helped the veteran send a shot into the bottom left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead 16 minutes into the contest.
Just before the end of the first half, Schultz recorded his third goal of the season to extend the Mustangs lead to 3-0 in the 42nd minute. After junior defender Antonio Hernandez had his shot deflected off the keeper's hands, Schultz collected the ball on the right side of the box near the end line before delivering a shot into the left corner of the goal.
Midwestern State looked to extend the lead even further early in the second half as the Mustangs netted two goals but were called offsides to keep the score at 3-0.
Rogers State began attacking the Mustangs defense late in the second period as the Hillcats looked to add their first score of the night. The Hillcats placed four shots on goal in a 13-minute span but junior goalkeeper Brice Gardner (3-0-0) made some spectacular saves to record the Mustangs' fifth clean sheet and his second in three appearances with five saves.
"Defensively, we held strong and covered for each other," Elder said. "We gave up a few opportunities late in the game that I wasn't happy with. The defense was solid to get a shutout on this team. I was really surprised they came at us the way they did."
Midwestern State led 14-12 in shots while Rogers State held a slight 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Rodriguez finished with a team-high three shots with two on goal while senior forward Dylan Beaird led RSU with three shots and two on target.