LAKEWOOD, Colo. - The Western Washington University men's soccer team scored a goal in each half after facing an early two-goal deficit and battled to a 2-2 tie after two overtime periods against Colorado Christian on Thursday afternoon in a non-conference matchup at Trailblazer Stadium.
WWU (0-2-1) went to overtime for the third consecutive game and played a second overtime period for the second straight contest. Colorado Christian is 0-2-1 following Thursday's game after hosting three non-conference games at home.
The Vikings took early leads in their first two games of the season but quickly faced a deficit on Thursday as the Cougars scored twice within the first 15 minutes of the game. After opening the season with a pair of shutout losses, Colorado Christian scored its first goal of the year in the 6th minute when a corner kick sent into the 18-yard box by midfielder Jack McCunn found its way to the back of the net. The Vikings were credited with an own goal on the play as they attempted to clear the ball from the box.
The Cougars were awarded a penalty kick in the 14th minute and forward Blake Goodale converted the opportunity for a 2-0 lead.
WWU responded to cut the deficit in half during the 23rd minute as senior defender Colton Ronk (Renton, WA/Liberty/Highline CC) scored with a header from a corner kick by sophomore forward Christian Rotter (Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) to bring the Vikings with 2-1. It was Ronk's first goal of the season and his second career WWU goal while Rotter recorded an assist for the third consecutive game.
The Colorado Christian lead held until the 67th minute when senior forward Anthony Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) scored his second goal of the season off a free kick from distance, taking a shot from approximately 23 yards out on the left side of the field and scoring to the near post.
Following the goal by Dean each team took 5 shots before the end of regulation, including a shot from senior midfielder Luke Olney (Enumclaw, WA) that went off the right post in the 86th minute. The Vikings held a 6-0 advantage in shots during the overtime periods with 1 shot in the first overtime and 5 shots (1 on goal) in the second overtime, but the game remained tied.
"The first 15 minutes we weren't sharp, we gave up an own goal which was not being sharp," head coach Greg Brisbon said. "I was impressed the guys came back and got it even and held strong. But, this is a tough place to play and give credit to Colorado Christian, they battled and defended well and also created some chances for themselves."
For the game, WWU held a 20-14 advantage in total shots and put 8 shots on goal compared with 6 for the Cougars. WWU also held a 10-5 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
"Colton (Ronk) did a great job of scoring that goal and Anthony (Dean) had a great free kick," Brisbon said. "We had numerous chances that the box score doesn't show to win the game but we didn't have the quality to do it today, so we'll just move on and hopefully Saturday we can play better."
Senior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) made 4 saves for WWU while goalkeeper Taylor Budzinski recorded 6 saves for Colorado Christian.
WWU continues its Colorado trip Saturday, facing MSU Denver at 6 pm MT/5 pm PT in Denver, Colo. The non-conference schedule concludes for WWU on Sept. 16 as the Vikings host Fort Hays State at Harrington Field (7 pm).
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