The ORU men’s soccer team finished their exhibition season with a solid performance on Friday night with a 4-1 victory over NSU. NSU had defeated ORU three consecutive times going into the game.
After missing a lot of opportunities in their second exhibition game, ORU was able to improve and capitalized on four out of their 19 shots.
“The team was very opportunistic,” said Ryan Bush, the first year head coach of the team. “We didn’t create as many opportunities tonight but we finished much better.”
Three minutes into the game, Craig Rogers scored a header into the bottom left side of the net to give ORU a quick 1-0 lead.
Less than eight minutes later, ORU struck again. Marco Hernandez crossed the ball from the outside into Johnny Chavez who scored from about six feet away.
Northeastern State scored in the 56th minute to cut the lead to one but ORU was not fazed.
An own goal by NSU gave ORU a two point lead in the 74th minute. Then, Matt Rogers, assisted by Chris Kroeze, scored 11 minutes later to give ORU a commanding 4-1 lead.
ORU played excellent defense, led by goalie Ben LaCourse, who had six saves.
“I’ve been impressed with the defense so far from the beginning of preseason,” Bush said. I think overall we have to concentrate on the front two-thirds of the field and the attacking third.
“There’s a lot of momentum right now,” Bush said. “The other thing right now is we’re getting a fantastic crowd from the student body and the community and it’s created a lot of synergy and energy.”
The men’s soccer team will officially open their season next Friday on the road against St. Louis.
The ORU women’s soccer team also recorded a win with a 2-1 victory over Missouri State. Mary-Kate Halsmer scored the winning goal with only 1:33 remaining in regulation.
The women’s team will be at home next Friday against UMKC for their second game of the season.