Pilots Can’t Come Up with Win on Senior Night
Mishawaka, Ind. – The Bethel men’s soccer team welcomed Crossroads League-leading and No. 21 Spring Arbor to Morey Field on Wednesday in hopes of pulling off an upset on Senior Night, but could not take down the Cougars in a 3-1 battle.
The Cougars struck quickly in the opening minutes, finding the back of the net in the 3nd minute off a corner kick to put the pressure on the Pilots with a 1-0 lead. The intense back-and-forth action saw both teams put plenty of shots on goal in the opening frame. After a miss of the crossbar in the 14th minute, the Pilots broke through in the 18th minute as Zac Schoon put the ball in the back of the net on a deflection off of Lucas Moreira’s shot to knot the score at 1-1. The Pilots went on to outshoot the Cougars 13-7 in the first 45 minutes of action and went to intermission tied 1-1.
With a Crossroads League regular season title on the line for the Cougars, both teams picked up the intensity as the game teetered between competitive and chippy for the second half. Again, the Cougars were quick to light up the scoreboard, taking the 2-1 lead in the 51st minute of the match.
Two yellow cards were given out in the next 30 minutes of play, one to each head coach, as the teams battled up-and-down the field. The Pilots could only muster three shots at tying the game during that time, when the Cougars extended their lead to 3-1 in the 77th minute and held on for the victory to clinch the Crossroads League regular season title. With the loss, the Pilots fall into 6th place in the Crossroads League with one match remaining.
Philip Keller made four saves on the night, getting help for three other saves by his defense, while Lucas Moreira led the match with four shots on goal.
“It was very unfortunate that we didn’t produce more goals off the quality chances we created,” noted Head Coach Thiago Pinto. “At least two of the three goals we gave up could have been much sharper and prevented any chance from being created but credit to Spring Arbor for making their chances count. We must focus on the right things and prepare well for a great week ahead.”
The Pilots hit the road for their final match of the regular season on Saturday before the Crossroads League Tournament starts next week, when they travel to Mt. Vernon Nazarene to take on former Pilot and former assistant Zach Ganzberg’s Cougar squad in a 2:00 kick-off.