LACEY, Wash. – The visiting Western Washington University men’s soccer team battled from behind during the second half to tie the game in the 75th minute before Saint Martin’s responded to break the tie with a goal during the 78th minute en route to a 3-2 victory over the Vikings on a rainy Thursday afternoon at SMU Soccer Field in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.
The Vikings (6-4-3, 5-2-1 GNAC) lost in regulation for the first time during the season, falling by a one-goal deficit for the second straight game after beginning conference play 5-0-1 prior to a 1-0 double overtime loss against then No. 16 Simon Fraser last week. The Saints picked up their first win of the season, improving to 1-11-1 overall and 1-6-1 in conference play.
The back-and-forth contest featured a pair of goals in the first half and three after halftime as the Vikings opened the scoring in the first half and then battled back to tie the game during the second half before the game-winner from the Saints. Senior forward Anthony Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) and senior midfielder Luke Olney (Enumclaw, WA) scored for the Vikings with freshman midfielder Georg Cholewa (Leipzig, Germany/Sportgymnasium Chemnitz) assisting Olney’s goal.
Dean scored his 10th goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 28th minute to put WWU up 1-0. After a foul in the 18-yard box, he finished to the upper-right corner of the net over a diving goalkeeper.
The Saints quickly equalized, answering less than a minute later in the 29th minute when a cross from the right side by defender Sebastian Navarro found the feet of midfielder Kyle Witzel, who finished to the near post from 10 yards out.
Saint Martin’s went ahead 2-1 in the 57th minute as forward Brandon Madsen finished a rebounded penalty kick save from close range. The Saints were given a penalty kick after a foul called in the 18-yard box during a crossing pass attempt. Senior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) saved the penalty kick attempt with a dive to his left, blocking the shot before Madsen followed up his miss to put the Saints ahead.
The 2-1 lead stood until the 75th minute when Cholewa sent a cross from the right side to Olney, who received the pass in a crowded box and scored from 10 yards away to tie the game. It was the third goal of the year for Olney and the first collegiate assist for Cholewa.
The Saints quickly answered again following Olney’s goal, scoring in the 78th minute. Madsen scored his second goal of the game, and conference-leading 11th goal of the season, on a header with assists from Navarro and forward McKray Kohn off a corner kick opportunity. The goal was nearly a team save as senior defender Ibra Drame (Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale/Seattle U.) cleared the shot near the goal line but it was ruled the ball went into the goal before the clearance occurred.
“A tough loss for us, I thought we played well enough to win the game,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “Credit to Saint Martin’s because they capitalized on their opportunities. Now we just get ready for the next road trip and try not to let those slip away.”
The Vikings held a 20-13 advantage in total shots and both teams putting 8 shots on goal. WWU put the ball off the goal frame twice in the second half, with senior forward Kyle Danielson (Des Moines, WA/Mount Rainier/Highline CC) contesting a loose ball that rolled up to and off the post. Near the end of the game, Dean put a shot off the crossbar in the 89th minute.
Visten finished the game with 5 saves while Saint Martin’s goalkeeper Griffin Small totaled 6 saves. The Vikings had 7 corner kicks while the Saints had 5 corner kick opportunities.
WWU returns to action next week, traveling to Northwest Nazarene next Thursday (Oct. 26, 1 pm MT) before taking on Montana State Billings next Saturday (Oct. 28, 3 pm MT). During the final week of the regular season, the Vikings travel to No. 13 Simon Fraser (Nov. 2, 7 pm PT) before hosting Concordia for Senior Night on Nov. 4 (7 pm).
Match Notes: WWU lost in regulation for the first time during season (all other losses in overtime) and lost on the road for the first time during 2017 (3-1-1 road record)…Saint Martin’s won Thursday with the same score (3-2) that WWU defeated the Saints by earlier in the season during the first 2017 meeting between the teams…Vikings allowed 3 goals in a game for only the second time during the season…Vikings are now 10-2-2 in last 14 GNAC games dating back to last year…Anthony Dean scored his 10th goal of the season, ranking 2nd in GNAC, and has scored in eight games during the season…Georg Cholewa recorded his first collegiate assist…Luke Olney scored his third goal of the season.
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