HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Forester men’s soccer team needed less than 30 seconds in the extra period to send the Cardinals packing as freshman Isaac Wust found back netting on an assist from classmate Brooks Gerke to lift HU over Concordia University (MI), 3-2, in its season opener Wednesday afternoon at King Stadium.
It was a match in which Huntington dominated play from start to finish. Behind Tyson Bradley-Kalischuk’s seven shots, three of which were on goal, the Foresters outshot their visitors 21-7.
Despite HU’s attack-minded approach, things didn’t go according to plan as Coach Lawson’s squad quickly found itself in a 1-0 hole when Cory Briggs scored off a corner kick ten minutes into the contest.
“We gave up an easy goal right away but I credit the composure of our captains,” said Lawson. “They kept us together. They made sure we kept pressing and didn’t hang our heads.”
Huntington’s pressure finally paid off in the waning minutes before halftime. The equalizer came in the 40th minute of play on a well-struck ball by Joey Newbery off an assist from Gerke.
Less than three minutes later, Paul Holliday set the stage for his team’s second goal when he slotted one past the keeper. Scott Murray ran up on it for the tap in to give HU a 2-1 lead that they carried into the break.
The Foresters picked up where they left in the second period, controlling the tempo through much of the half. With 13 minutes remaining in regulation, however, Zain Qureshi found back netting to knot things up at 2-2 to extend the match to overtime before Wust’s heroics brought the game to an abrupt finish 27 seconds into the extra period.
“Giving up that goal definitely shifted the momentum to Concordia but again, I credit our leadership for being resilient,” said Lawson. “We did what we needed to get the win. In overtime, our defense forced the Cardinals to turn the ball over just outside their 18 to set up the game-winner. We were definitely the aggressors today.”
HU keeper Drew Mattingly finished with three saves to log the win.
The Foresters hit the road August 30-31 to compete in the Georgetown College Classic where they take on Mid-Continent University Friday before facing the host Tigers on Saturday.