By Samuel Biehn
Western men’s soccer scored two goals in the 81st and 90th minutes by forwards Drew Fansworth and Anthony Dean, propelling the Vikings to a 2-0 win over Montana State University Billings, Thursday night at Robert S. Harrington field.
The Vikings now stand at 6-2-3 overall, and are undefeated in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play at 5-0-1.
The Vikings had to weather a defensive battle early to keep their streak alive. Western head coach Greg Brisbon said the Yellowjackets started the game with effective pressure, throwing his team off-balance.
“In the first half we were not good at all,” Brisbon said. “We didn’t make smart decisions, and as a result we almost were behind, but luckily we weren’t.”
Part of that had to do with Western goalkeeper Tyler Visten, who had a stellar reaching save to keep the game tied in the first period, Brisbon said.
Going into the second half, Brisbon said the team didn’t need any major overhauls, just to find poise from within.
“There were no tactical adjustments,” Brisbon said. “It was all in their mind. They just had to play better.”
Despite Western not being able to find the back of the net in the first period and relying on its defense, Western forward Anthony Dean said the team knew it could still find a way to get the victory.
“We’ve went into overtime so many times,” Dean said. “We know what’s waiting for us [in the] second half.”
Overtime wouldn’t be needed for the Vikings this time.
Even throughout the second half, each team was getting its opportunities, but nothing for the Vikings was going in the net. That was, until Vikings forward Drew Farnsworth scored the game-winning goal for Western in the 81st minute, putting them in the lead 1-0.
“All the boys worked right to the end,” Farnsworth said. “We knew had to have a much better second half, we just had to make sure we won every second ball, every first ball and just counter from there.”
The Vikings would score again in the 90th minute, with Farnsworth passing inside to Dean for another goal that put Western up 2-0, effectively sealing the game.
“[Farnsworth did an] amazing job, and won us this game really,” Dean said.
Dean said it was a great feeling scoring the goal that helped his team put the Yellowjackets away.
Even with a good Thursday night, the Vikings know they still have loftier goals to reach this season.
“Win the GNAC,” Farnsworth said. “That’s the next step.”
With a win and an unbeaten streak being a step in the right direction, the Vikings will look to keep the momentum going the rest of the season.
For Dean and the Vikings, the winning will do the trick.
“I would like to keep this consecutive unbeaten streak going,” Dean said. “It feels amazing, I don’t want to lose anymore.”