FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s soccer team has made scoring early and scoring often part of its regular routine in its last couple of games, and Wednesday’s blowout victory was no different.
The Warriors (3-2 overall) controlled every aspect of the game on Wednesday verses the Ottawa University Braves (0-5 overall) and cruised to a 6-0 victory. It’s the team’s second straight shutout after upsetting then-No. 19 Olivet Nazarene 7-0 on Labor Day.
“I thought in the first half we played at a tempo and with an urgency that they couldn’t handle,” said Midland head coach Raphael Martinez. “Unfortunately, we didn’t maintain that in the second half, and that is a bit frustrating. With that said, we were organized defensively and earned the clean sheet.”
Midland dominated the time of possession battle, which is clear when looking at the shot totals. The Warriors fired off 31 shots in the game and only allowed the Braves to get one look at the goal. After five games, the Warriors have outshot their opponents by an astonishing 91-22 margin.
Senior Robert Wiseman began the scoring in the 11th minute of the game as his header was too high for the Ottawa keeper after a perfect pass off of a corner kick from Diego Konincks. Just five minutes later, it was another senior, Antonio Hernandez, who found the net after getting free from a pass from Mario Bueso.
The junior Bueso added his name to the scoring list shortly thereafter in the 23rd minute as a long pass from Eli Draves allowed him to get free. Bueso managed to get past Ottawa keeper Isaac Gwinn and score an easy goal for his fourth of the season. Bueso and Wiseman remain tied for the team lead with four goals apiece after Wednesday.
Midland’s fourth and final goal of the first half came from sophomore Sebastian Osuke, his third of the year, in the 39th minute thanks to a pass from Liam Brandso.
As the game began to drag on in the second half, both teams began getting impatient with one another as physical play and some extra pushing and shoving started to dominate the action. Six yellow cards were handed out in the second half, four of which were charged to Midland.
The physical play led to both of Midland’s second half goals as fouls on Ottawa in their box gave seniors James Kilburn (66th minute) and Caique Silva (90th minute) opportunities at penalty kicks. Both players connected, pushing the final score to 6-0 to cap off a convincing Warrior win.
After Silva’s late goal in his first game back from a knee injury, his teammates greeted him with high-fives and hugs all around, making it clear that they were happy to have him back in the lineup as he continues to get back into the swing of things.
“Special congratulations to Caique for scoring in his first game back after almost 9 months out from ACL surgery,” Martinez said. “He is an important player on our team and we are pleased to have him back.”
With Midland’s current pace of play, the Warriors should continue to hang their hat on taking shots whenever they have the chance. However, they will need to find the back of the net at a more frequent clip if they want to keep winning games once GPAC play rolls around. They’re creating chances, but finishing those chances will make the difference.
The Warriors have one more game before GPAC play begins as Midland heads to McPherson, Kansas to play the McPherson College Bulldogs (2-2 overall) this Saturday, September 14. Start time in Kansas is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.