Clutch last-second goal helps secure 1-1 tie for men’s soccer team

WWU defender Camron Miller (18) and WWU defender Theo Steinmetz (12) battle for the ball against a Saint Martin’s player on Saturday, Oct. 5. // Photo by Zachary Jimenez

By Jordan Shepherd

One second left on the clock, down by one point and on the verge of a loss is the kind of pressure Western men’s soccer team faced when senior defender Nick Morgan scored a goal to force overtime. The game ended in a 1-1 draw against Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Robert S. Harrington Field. 

Overtime saw a few chances by both teams to score but ultimately ended in a 1-1 tie, giving both Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams a point for conference play. With this tie, the men’s soccer team now goes to 4-3-1 overall and 1-0-1 in conference play, sitting second in the standings with four points. 

After being down 1-0 from a goal at 51 minutes by the Saints, the Vikings were able to pull it together at the 89:59 minute mark. From a quick long ball into the penalty box by junior midfielder Drew Farnsworth, Morgan headed the ball into the goal to tie the game before the announcer, counting down, could reach one.

“I have no words for it and can’t believe it … great determination and that’s what this team is kind of built on,” Head Coach Greg Brisbon said. “I thought we played well in spurts and did great against their top forward. The GNAC is going to be a good conference this year, and I don’t think any one team is going to dominate it all.”

This marks the second time this season that the Vikings have scored a game-tying goal in the final minutes to force overtime. Junior Camron Miller scored a last-minute goal against No. 3 Azusa Pacific to tie the game on Sept. 26. 

The tie against the Saints marks the Vikings first in-conference home game since beating Seattle Pacific University Thursday night, Oct. 3, at Interbay Stadium in Seattle. 

With this tie, the men’s soccer team now goes to 4-3-1 overall and 1-0-1 in conference play with 4 points and holding second place. 

Morgan’s buzzerbeater stands as his second career goal for Western, and his first since his freshman year. 

“We were just throwing body’s forward just hoping we would get a chance, and I took the time and saw the ball was looping in, and I just thought I could flick it in the goal, and it came off perfect,” Morgan said. “I blacked out at that point and a lot of emotions were running through my head.”

The Saints were able to connect for a goal at 51 minutes when Vikings freshman goalkeeper Brandon Locke attempted to clear the ball but missed allowing the Saints Brandon Madsen to place the ball in from about 6 yards from the goal. 

The Vikings played an even game during regulation play having a 14-10 advantage in shots and a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Vikings had seven corner kicks to Saint Martin’s three.

“I thought the Vikings played really good tonight and it was so exciting to be able to see a goal scored with one second left to tie the game,” Emily Steinman, a fan in the stands, said. “I wish we could have got the win but a tie is better than a loss in the books.”

The Vikings will stay at home and face Concordia University on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Harrington Field starting at 7 p.m. for their third GNAC conference match.

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