BILLINGS, Mont. – Montana State Billings broke a scoreless tie with a goal in the 66th minute and added a second goal with under a minute remaining in the game to claim a 2-0 victory over the visiting Western Washington University men’s soccer team on Saturday at Yellowjacket Field in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action.
The Vikings (6-4-3, 5-3-2 GNAC) were held scoreless for the second consecutive game as MSU Billings (8-9-0, 6-5-0 GNAC) evened the season series between the teams after WWU won, 2-0, in the first meeting between the teams in Bellingham earlier in the month.
The go-ahead goal for the ‘Jackets came after a flurry of shots on goal within the span of a minute for MSU Billings. After consecutive saves by senior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) late in the 65th minute and early in the 66th minute, the ‘Jackets were awarded a corner kick taken by midfielder Guillaume Kremer.
The corner kick cross was cleared out of the box to Kremer again, who crossed the ball to defender Realf Zhivanaj for a header attempt that went off the crossbar. A second shot by forward JD Hauenstein off the rebounded shot was ruled a team save before midfielder Niklas Schregel finished another rebound for a 1-0 lead and his third goal of the year in the 66th minute.
The Vikings generated 4 shots, including 1 shot on frame, as well as 3 corner kicks following the go-ahead goal but were unable to find the equalizer.
Kremer scored on a 20-yard free kick in the 90th minute with just 46 seconds remaining for his ninth goal of the season to double the lead and hand the Vikings their first loss by a margin of more than one goal during the season.
“It was a close game throughout, MSU Billings was able to get one in the second half off a set piece and we were pushing at the end,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “I thought we were going to sneak one in but unfortunately we couldn’t do it, they got one late as we were pushing. MSU Billings played a really good game, I thought our guys gave great effort and worked hard and did their best – it just didn’t come our way today.”
Visten finished with 7 saves, including 6 in the second half, to give him 17 saves for the week after tying a career high with 10 saves during Thursday’s double overtime tie at Northwest Nazarene. The Vikings allowed more than 1 goal in a game for just the second time over the past seven games and entered the day ranked second in the conference for fewest goals allowed.
“The back four were solid today like usual and they keep getting better,” Brisbon said. “I’m proud of them, happy with them, it’s a tough conference like I’ve said many times and we weren’t able to get the goal today.”
Tom Lohmann made 2 saves in the first shutout of the year for MSU Billings. The ‘Jackets held a 16-6 advantage in total shots, with each team generating 4 corner kicks.
Off to a 5-0-1 start to GNAC play, WWU will look to close out the conference schedule the way it began league action entering the final week of the regular season.
“We need a win, we have to get a win in one of these games just to get some confidence back and belief that we are a good team,” Brisbon said. “Hopefully two wins, that would be great, but it starts with the first game so we’ll get ready for that one as best we can.”
The Vikings have two conference games remaining on the schedule, traveling to face No. 9 Simon Fraser on Thursday (7 pm) before hosting Concordia next Saturday (7 pm) for Senior Day.
Match Notes: WWU was held scoreless for the second consecutive game…WWU lost in regulation for only the second time in 2017...Vikings have scored a goal in 11 of 15 games this season…Tyler Visten made 7 saves after recording 10 saves on Thursday at Northwest Nazarene to give him a total of 17 saves during the week…’Jackets became just the second team to score more than 1 goal against WWU over the last seven games…the home team won each matchup in the season series between WWU and MSU Billings by a final score of 2-0…in both games a goal was scored during the game’s final minute.
WWU Men's Soccer Open Tryout Set for January 27
The tryout is for current WWU students taking 12 or more credits
Men's Soccer 2017 Season in Review
WWU finished 6-6-5 overall and 5-4-3 in conference play, tying for 3rd in GNAC
Dean Named Third Team All-West Region by United Soccer Coaches
Dean totaled 25 points via 11 goals and 3 assists during senior season
Garrett Strawn Named to Academic All-District Team
Strawn voted as one of four GNAC honorees, advances to Academic All-America ballot
Five Vikings Earn Men's Soccer All-GNAC Honors
Anthony Dean and Tyler Visten named unanimous First Team All-GNAC selections for WWU
WWU Ties No. 15 Simon Fraser 0-0 After Double OT
WWU ties GNAC champion Simon Fraser in Burnaby for second straight year
Men's Soccer Edged 2-1 by Visiting Concordia
Cavaliers score twice early, Vikings net goal on penalty kick by Anthony Dean
WWU Game at Simon Fraser Postponed Due to Snow
Snow at Terry Fox Field in Burnaby forces reschedule of Thursday's game to Sunday
WWU Heads to No. 15 Simon Fraser, Hosts Concordia
Vikings enter final week of GNAC schedule battling for conference title
Men's Soccer Falls 2-0 at MSU Billings
Yellowjackets score in 66th minute to take lead, add late goal in final minute of game
Record Eleven Vikings Earn GNAC All-Academic Honors
WWU sets program record for GNAC All-Academic honorees, Olney earns third honor
WWU Battles to Scoreless Tie at Northwest Nazarene
Tyler Visten ties career high with 10 saves, including a penalty kick save during first half
WWU Travels to Northwest Nazarene, MSU Billings
The Vikings are tied for 2nd in the GNAC with four conference games remaining
Men's Soccer Falls 3-2 at Saint Martin's
WWU edged by one-goal margin for second straight game, Dean and Olney score for Vikings
Vikings Travel to Face Saint Martin's on Thursday
WWU (6-3-3, 5-1-1 GNAC) begins a stretch of four consecutive road contests this week