Article by Jeremy Nelson
Photos by Emily McGarity
The Tiger men hosted Bellevue University on Saturday and for the second week in a row, 90 minutes wouldn't be enough to settle the contest. Like last week the game would go into overtime unfortunately this week, the result would not be the same. With the score knotted up at 2-2, the Bruins hit the game winner in the 108th minute and the Tigers collapsed on the field in exhaustion and disbelief.
For most of the first half, things were very even. The Bruins were extremely quick so the Tigers tried to match their quickness by playing small and fast in the back with Eric Clayborne and Alex Emery as the center backs. Coach Hoxie used Grant Rardon, who has played in the defense all season, as an attacking midfielder trying to use his height and length as an advantage on the attack. The changes seemed to work fairly well as the Tigers were able to keep the Bruins at bay for most of the half. The Bruins snuck in a goal in the 34th minute of the half when a shot from the left side hit the inside of the goal post and ricocheted into the net.
Undaunted, the Tigers got the equalizer in the 62nd minute off of cornerkick. Kasey Sidor played a ball into the box that was headed down by Grant Rardon to the foot of Martin Marfo who buried a 15 yard shot. The Bruins responded and took back the lead in the 73rd minute when Graeme Eaglesham found himself with the ball wide open just left of the penalty spot and fired a shot past the Tigers' Alex Akrawi. Fourteen minutes later, Martin Marfo tied the game again with his second goal. This one was a header assisted by Gunnar Kelly.
In the span of a week, the Tigers got to experience both extremes of golden goal overtime soccer. They left the field last Saturday against York victorious and against Bellevue they experienced the other extreme. Coach Hoxie summed it up this way, "These types of games are very emotional as the game produces ups and downs. Unfortunately, the game ended on a down that we will have to sit on for a few days. Hopefully, we can find the positives from it so we can channel that into better play."
Alex Akrawi had a nice game in goal. The junior goal keeper faced nine shots on goal and saved 5 of them. Luis Barajas also had a nice game defensively. He saved a least two shots off of the goal line that had gotten past Akrawi as he came off of his line to make the save.
The loss drops the Tigers to 6-5-1 on the season. The have two games this week, one on the road and one at home. Their first game is on the road Wednesday at Oklahoma Wesleyan. Then they come back to the friendly confines and play host to Hillsdale Baptist on Saturday. Wednesday's game kicks off at 4:30, and Saturday's game is at 7:00 pm.