San Antonio – Bryon Plagge and Sean Strater scored goals in a 52 second span of the second half, helping St. Mary’s University to a 2-0 win over Northeastern State University in men’s soccer action Sunday afternoon at St. Mary’s University Soccer Field.
The teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, despite the fact that the Rattlers outshot the Riverhawks, 10-3. The game remained scoreless well into the second half before turning suddenly. With just 21:42 left in the contest Funmilola Dada (Sr., Houston) received his second yellow card and was ejected from the game. Despite having to play down one man the rest of the way, the Rattlers increased the pressure on NSU goalkeeper Brendon Lindsey and it paid off just seven minutes after the card.
Robson Pritchett (So., McKinney) took a direct free kick from about 40 yards away from the goal and sent a perfect ball into the middle of the box where Bryan Plagge (Sr., San Antonio) flicked the ball on with his head into the right corner to break the scoreless tie. Just 52 seconds later Daniel Kelly (Fr., Tucson) dribbled into the penalty area, beat a pair of defenders, then was dragged down from behind, giving the Rattlers a penalty kick. Sean Strater (So., Carrollton) converted the penalty kick for his second goal of the season, giving the Rattlers a 2-0 lead.
The two-goal lead made an already physical game even more so. There were 39 fouls called in the game, 21 on St. Mary’s and 18 on NSU. In the final nine minutes six cards were issued, including three red cards as play deteriorated. Alex Petrou and Ryan Evans of Northeastern were ejected, while Kelly received a red card for St. Mary’s.
Brett Collier (Jr., Schertz) picked up his first shutout of the season, making two saves, while facing a total of seven shots. He lowered his season goals-against average to 1.50. Lindsey was the tough-luck loser, making four saves, while facing 16 shots in the game.
St. Mary’s improved to 2-4 this season with the win, while Northeastern State fell to 2-6. The Rattlers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 3 when they travel to Portales, N.M., to face Eastern New Mexico University at noon.