A single foul turned out to be the deciding factor Saturday night, as the Western men’s soccer team fell to Montana State University Billings.
“We gave up a foul at a spot that’s really dangerous,” said senior defender Sawyer Preston. “We played hard the rest of the game. We just couldn’t finish.”
Head coach Greg Brisbon said the team played very well, but they could not take advantage when they had possession of the ball.
“I thought it was a very even game for the most part,” Brisbon said. “In the second half, we created a lot of chances. We were unfortunate tonight.”
In the middle of the first half MSUB junior Thiago Novis scored with a free kick from 19 yards. Western had a total of three shots on goal.
“It’s just how the game goes,” senior defender and team captain Kurtis Pederson said of some of the hotly disputed calls. “We don’t like to focus too much on the referee’s call, but of course it affects us. It’s up to us to get the win.”
MSUB played a very physically aggressive game, Brisbon said, and that’s in part due to the fact that MSUB and Western are quickly becoming league rivals.
The team is now 5-7-3 overall and 3-7-2 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
“I think we need to be more patient defensively,” Brisbon said. “That and not have fouls on top of the box and give the other team a free kick.”