Huntington, Ind. - Playing in their home opener, the HU men’s soccer team made sure the faithful fans who braved the rain and cooler temperatures got their money’s worth as they outlasted Bluffton University 2-1 in an overtime thriller.
Despite the Beavers finding the back of the net at the 20:28 mark, the Foresters didn’t seem fazed as they controlled play for most of the game. Their efforts finally paid off in the 61st minute when Jared Boyd redirected a Nick Harmsen shot to tie things up at 1-1.
HU continued to dominate play and despite outshooting the Beavers 34-6 in the first 90 minutes, the score remained deadlocked in regulation to force overtime.
Things remained in a stalemate after the first extra period but HU’s aggressiveness finally paid off midway through the second overtime when Adam Christner created a 2v1 situation and hit Jake Essig, who had slipped behind the defender on a bent run, for the game-winning score.
“Our guys earned this victory today,” said Coach Lawson. “I thought we stayed composed and I was glad to see it pay off with a win.”
The Foresters outshot the Beavers 8-1 in the overtime periods. For the game, HU generated 17 shots on goals while limiting Bluffton to two. Last night’s contest marked the third consecutive Forester overtime win over the Beavers. After relieving starting goalie Drew Mattingly, Chris Fox spent the second stanza and overtime periods in goal. He finished with one save.
Since 2004, Huntington has played in 15 double overtime games and last night was the first win as their double overtime record moves to 1-6-7.
HU (1-3) will take the field again on Saturday when they travel to Trinity Christian College for a 2:00 p.m. kick-off.