The men’s soccer season came to an end on Saturday at the Case Soccer Complex against Omaha. ORU fought back after two early goals by the Mavericks in the first half, but were unable to come back and finished 3-1.
Omaha scored in the 13th, 37th and 55th minutes of the game. Senior Matthew Rogers scored the only successful goal for the Golden Eagles off a penalty kick with two minutes left.
“It was senior night. I think the younger guys wanted to fight for the older guys,” said Head Coach Ryan Bush sitting back away from the senior night festivities. “We knew it was a must-win game, obviously. I think the mentality was fight, scrap, bleed, do whatever you gotta do for your teammates. I actually thought the guys came out and played pretty hard.”
The Golden Eagles outshot the Mavericks 17-8, taking 11 in the second half alone, but were unable to make up the deficit.
Luke Moore, Rogers, Javo Reyes, Tyler Hill, Isaac Fraley and Rafael Rivera were all honored at the end of the game.
“[The seniors helped] put together the three consecutive best seasons in the history of the program prior to this one. The big part for them is the work ethic that they’ve established in the program and the culture they’ve helped instill. I think every single one of them embodies our core values. I think that’s where our success has come from,” Bush said. “They were part of the team that got picked last in conference and finished second, got picked fifth and won a championship, and got picked fourth and finished second. They’ve overachieved and they’ve kind of been the underdog and the overcomers and I think they’ve taught the younger guys a lot about what it means to work and grind and transcend expectations.”
While ORU tied 2-4 with IPFW and Eastern Illinois in Summit League standings it did not receive a tournament spot and was the last time the seniors would get to play on their home field.
“[The team has] meant a lot. We grew a culture here ever since my freshman year,” Hill said fondly of his time as a Golden Eagle. “We were the bottom of the whole NCAA and we brought the program around changed it into something special.”