Will Lightning strike again? Men’s Soccer in position to retain Summit League

U-News Staff

The men’s soccer team currently sits in 2nd position in the Summit League Conference after a 1-1 tie with Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla. on Saturday night. Freshman forward Jordan Rideout was on the score-sheet for the Roos (5-7-2) (2-1-1 in Summit League play) in a contest that was suspended due to lightning in the 71st minute.

The ORU Golden Eagles scored early, as winger Aaron Birk netted a goal off a breakaway in the 11th minute. The Roos evened the score in the 23rd minute when junior forward David Sarabia assisted Rideout, who made a precise finish. The Roos were in control throughout, producing multiple scoring chances in the first half.

In the second half, the Roos continued to apply pressure on the Golden Eagles, tallying a 13-4 shot lead. Junior midfielder Tom Black almost put UMKC ahead when his 30 yard volley rocketed off the crossbar. The Roos’ momentum was cut short as the clouds moved in, delaying the game for 45 minutes. This tie leaves the Roos even with IUPUI in second place in the Summit League standings.

On Oct. 18, the team suffered a 5-1 humbling defeat in Springfield, Mo. against non -conference opponent Missouri State. It was the Roos that got on the score-board first, when Black was fouled deep in Bears’ territory. He then scored a 25 yard free kick in the 33rd minute. This was his first goal of the season, putting the Roos ahead 1-0 at the half.

During the second half, the Bears regrouped and took over by scoring consecutive goals in the matter of minutes. The Bears tallied their first goal in the 53rd minute off a one-time strike by senior Heath Melugin to tie the score at 1-1. Jordan Hoffman, assisting on the previous score, also assisted the second with a pass from the end line where Cole Alexander also scored. Not giving the Roos much time to reset, the Bears scored again just 18 seconds later straight off the restart, as Melugin scored his second of the night. The Bears didn’t let up and scored their 4th goal in the 67th minute. The home team was then awarded a penalty kick in the dying minutes of the game because of a Roo hand in the box and the Bears converted the resulting penalty kick.

After a week which saw a heavy defeat to MSU and a suspended game in a one-sided affair at Oral Roberts, on a more positive note, the team had four players named in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 20 for players to watch in the Summit League. Sarabia ranked 12th, Black placed 14th, Rideout 17th, as well as freshman Michael Oakley who held down the 19th spot.

The team will now challenge Summit League opponent IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. Oct. 26 before finishing out the Conference season against Western Illinois at Durwood Soccer Stadium on Oct. 29.

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