Article by Jeremy Nelson
Photo by Emily McGarity
For the 5th time this season, and the 2nd time in as many games, the Tigers couldn't resolve things in regular time and were forced to play overtime. The Tigers, celebrating friends and family homecoming weekend on campus, hosted the Central Baptist College Mustangs. The Tigers and Mustangs found themselves locked in an epic struggle that couldn't be decided in the 90 minutes allowed in regular time. The Tigers and Mustangs played twenty more minutes and things still couldn't be resolved and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Mustangs scored first in the 30th minute of the first half when a misplayed Tiger pass was intercepted by a Mustang attacker who slipped the ball under the diving body of Tiger goalkeeper Alex Akrawi. The goal by the Mustangs woke up the Tigers who responded with a first half goal of their own less than a minute later. Gunnar Kelly chipped a ball across the 6 yard box it was headed toward the goal by Martin Marfo and was finished by Ronnie Rocha. Rocha got the goal, with Marfo and Kelly receiving the assists.
The game remained knotted a 1-1 for the remaining 65 minutes with each team feeling like they let one slip away. This was one of the most evenly matched games of the season. Each team's strengths were cancelled out by the other teams' strengths. The Tigers outshot the Mustangs by a slim 17-14 margin. The Tigers managed 8 shots on goals while the Mustangs put the ball on goal 5 times. Tiger goal keeper Alex Akrawi came away with 4 more saves for the season.
Coach Hoxie, a little disappointed with the tie, commented "I thought we were very unlucky not to take all three points. Especially since we controlled the majority of play. But that's football, since the ball is round, it bounces in funny ways. We have to stop being our opponents best players. We continue to make silly errors in critical situations. Ultimately, we scored both goals today. We have two very important games this week. We need to take all six points in order to have a chance to take fourth in our conference. Unfortunately we don't control our own destiny, we are at the mercy of another team."
The Tigers are now 8-6-2 on the season and 1-2-1 in the MCAC. Nine seniors played the final home game of their career on Saturday night. Gunnar Kelly, Grant Rardon, David Armstrong, Stephen Craig, Eric Clayborne, Kasey Sidor, Martin Marfo, Kenny Cann, and Ronnie Rocha, were honored before the game. The Tigers have two more regular season games this week before getting ready for post season play. The Tigers will go on the road Wednesday for a game with Southwestern Christian University, and then back on the road Saturday for a game with new MCAC member Waldorf College.