• Special to The Sun

Bristow’s goal, Neira’s shutout lead to first win for men’s soccer

After a rough first couple of games to open the season, the Midway University men’s soccer team picked up its first win of the season when the Eagles defeated Marian (Ind.) 1-0 on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Eagles (1-2) hadn’t scored a goal in 180 minutes of game action over two matches, but senior Max Bristow netted the first goal of the season to lead the Eagles to their first win of the 2017 campaign.

Midway struck quickly with Bristow’s decisive goal coming in the ninth minute. The Exeter, England, native took a lob pass from Brad Wilson from about 40 yards out and beat the Marian defense as he found the back of the net to give Midway the 1-0 lead.

The 1-0 lead stayed intact throughout the match thanks in large part to the Midway defense and the play of senior goalkeeper Christian Neira. The senior had allowed double digit goals on the season, but on Saturday night he kept the home team off the scoreboard. For that, Neira earned the River States Conference Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for Sept. 4 to 10. After making a save in the 14th minute, the Santiago, Chile, native made a diving save in the 19th minute. Neira found himself out of the box as the ball made its way to Nicholas Barrera of Marian in front of the goal.

Barrera took a shot from about 15 yards out, but Neira made a diving save to preserve the shutout.

Neira did, however, get some help from the crossbar in the first half. After a corner kick for Marian, Cameron Butcher took one from about 15 yards out, but Butcher saw his shot deflect off the crossbar as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.

The Knights maintained possession for much of the second half, but the Midway defense was up for the challenge, shutting out the Knights 1-0. Neira finished with five saves on the night while playing all 90 minutes in goal.

Marian (1-3) finished with eight shots for the match and five shots on goal, while Midway had six shots overall with three coming on goal.

Bristow led the way with three shots overall, while Wilson added two shots and Callum Kemp collected the final shot.

After hitting the road to take on No. 21 Union (Ky.) on Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Eagles will return home on Tuesday, Sept. 19, when they host Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at 4 p.m.

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