WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A pair of first half goals carried No. 23 Midwestern State to its third-straight victory Thursday evening as the Mustangs remained undefeated in Heartland Conference play with a 2-1 win over Rogers State at Soldier Field.
Sophomore forward Jorge DeLeon gave Midwestern State (5-1-1, 3-0-0 HC) an early lead after netting his second goal of the season and first since the season opener with a header goal off a free kick from senior midfielder Gabriel Cavalcante in the 10th minute.
Just before halftime, senior midfielder Leon Taylor recorded his first score of the season with a shot from six yards out to the near post for a 2-0 MSU advantage in the 40th minute.
An own goal spoiled MSU's chances for a shutout for the second-straight game as Rogers State (3-2-2, 0-2-1 HC) cut its deficit in half less than four minutes into the second period with an own goal off a corner kick.
The Hillcats, who had one shot hit the post in the first half, nearly evened the contest in the 77th minute but a strike by Niall Smith hit the crossbar to keep the Mustangs in front.
Senior forward Christian Okeke led the Mustangs with four shots while Jorge DeLeon recorded a team-high two shots on goal. Senior keeper Noah Fazekas moved to 5-1-0 on the season, collecting one save on the night.
Midwestern State wraps up its road swing Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest against Newman at Wilkins Field in Wichita, Kan.
Midwestern State plays host to the three-day ITA Men's South Central Regional this weekend as more than 60 athletes arrive in Wichita Falls to compete for a berth in the ITA Oracle Cup next month in Surprise, Ariz.
Midwestern State will be joined by nine other teams for the regional tournament, which will be played at the MSU Tennis Center as well as the Hamilton and Weeks Park Tennis Centers Friday through Sunday. The Mustangs will compete alongside Cameron, Dallas Baptist, Colorado State-Pueblo, Metro State (Colo.), Newman (Kan.), St. Edward's, St. Mary's, UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico this weekend.
Friday's action will include the first two rounds of the singles and doubles draws across all three locations in Wichita Falls. The singles round of 16 and quarterfinal matches as well as the doubles quarterfinals and semifinal matches will held at the MSU Tennis Center on Saturday. Championship Sunday will include the doubles final and the final two rounds of singles play at the MSU Tennis Center. Admission is free to the entire event.
Senior Ramon Toyos enters the South Central Regional as the top seed after advancing to the regional semifinals last season. Toyos along with No. 2 seed Michael Maciel of St. Mary's will receive first round byes to begin the tournament.
Toyos will be joined by six other Mustangs competing for a regional title this weekend. Senior Chris Norrie comes in as the eighth seed in the singles draw while sophomore Dillon Pineda is the 10th seed after both ended the 2016 campaign ranked in the top 20 in the region.
Junior Vasudev Vijayaraman, sophomore Dylan Hall and freshmen Denney Norrie and Angel Palacios will also see action this weekend.
In doubles, Toyos and Pineda come in as the fifth seed while Vijayaraman and Hall and the Norrie brothers will compete together in the bottom half of the draw.
The singles and doubles champions from this weekend will move on to play in the ITA Oracle Cup, Oct. 13-16, at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Club.
Results from each day of the ITA South Central Regional will be posted on MSUMustangs.com.