MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s soccer team played well for stretches of the match on Tuesday afternoon against Saint John’s University, but the Johnnies were able to tuck away their chances – including two off of corner kicks – and the Cougars came up empty when they broke forward, resulting in a 3-0 victory for the visitors at Cougar Field.
The first shot of the match belonged to Minnesota Morris in the seventh minute and it forced a save from SJU’s Jake Swanson as Carver Hammond was able to race onto a nicely-weighted through ball. The Johnnies then took the lead in the 14th minute with a goal from Ryan Erickson as he took control of the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box and put it away at the far post.
Saint John’s scored twice more in the first half. The SJU lead was doubled to 2-0 on a header from Cavin Allen directly off a corner kick from Tommy Picka. With just seconds left in the first half, another corner for the Johnnies resulted in their third goal as Trenton Dodds picked up scraps at the back post after the ball trickled through the six-yard box.
The other shot on target for Minnesota Morris came from Carter Watkinson in the 48th minute, with Swanson once again making a save. From there, the Cougars were able to make a number of nice runs through the Saint John’s defense, but each move lacked the finishing touch needed. The UMN Morris defense played solidly throughout the second half, but the Cougars could get no closer and fell by a score of 3-0.
Lucas Harmon made four saves in the match for the Cougars. Besides Hammond and Watkinson, Minnesota Morris also had shots in the match from Mo Hoefs, Cooper Jones, Nick Burgess, Tristan Cruz, Tad Fugitt, and Luke Wicklund.
Minnesota Morris opens up UMAC play on Sept. 18 with a trip to Crown College in St. Bonifacius. First kick is scheduled for 4 p.m.