Eagles battle back in second to tie WV Tech
After playing its first five games out of the conference, the Midway University men's soccer team opened River States Conference play on Thursday, Sept. 28, when the Eagles hosted West Virginia Tech at the Midway Soccer Field. After the game was tied at 1-1 at halftime, the Golden Bears scored two goals early in the second half to grab a 3-1 lead. The Eagles (3-2-1, 0-0-1 RSC) battled back with two goals to tie it at 3-3 and after two 10 minute overtimes, the score remained the same and was declared a draw. The Golden Bears (1-6-1, 0-0-1 RSC) entered the season ranked as high as No. 5 in the preseason coaches' poll. They ended Midway's season last year as they outscored the Eagles 11-0 in two games. In both games, Midway struggled to get any offense going. Midway got the scoring started in the 29th minute thanks to Callum Kemp. The junior from Lincoln, England, found space in the defense and dribbled past a couple of defenders as he fired a long looping shot that curved into the back of the net over the goalkeeper's outstretched arms. After Midway took the 1-0 lead, the Golden Bears tied it up with an equalizer from Santiago Cruz, who netted a goal in the 34th minute. With the score tied at 1-1, both teams made their way to the locker room for halftime. The visitors seized momentum early in the second half when they netted goals in the 50th and 52nd minutes to take a 3-1 lead with just over 35 minutes remaining. Midway began to battle back with a goal in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit in half. Brad Wilson got it started when he played a corner kick into the box and connected with Kemp. Kemp didn't have a shot, so he passed it to Harry Kirwan, who did have an open shot and fired the ball at the far post and into the back of the net. The Eagles scored an equalizer when Wilson played a picture perfect corner kick to the far post and connected with Kirwan. The six-foot, two-inch senior timed it perfectly, as he headed the ball over the goalkeeper's outstretched hands and into the back of the net to tie the match at 3-3. Midway's best opportunity came in the second minute of the first overtime period. With their offense making an attack, Max Bristow played the ball and hit Wilson in stride, but he couldn't finish as his shot went wide and the score remained tied at 3-3. Both teams had other opportunities to net the golden goal throughout the two overtime periods, but couldn't convert, and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. Playing all 110 minutes in goal for the Eagles was senior goalkeeper Christian Neira (Santiago, Chile). who allowed the three goals but finished with six saves, as he and the Midway defense kept West Virginia Tech's high-powered offense at bay for much of the game. The Eagles will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a pair of RSC matchups. They take on Point Park (Pa.) on Friday, Oct. 6, and then Carlow (Pa.) on Sunday, Oct. 8.