MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris men’s soccer team took an early lead on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Sunday at Cougar Field, but the deep bench and tireless pressing of the Pioneers helped the visitors come away with a 2-1 win.
UW-Platteville came out on the front foot and looked to take an early lead, but Lucas Harmon was there on a number of occasions to stop Pioneer chances. On the first foray forward for Minnesota Morris, the Cougars were able to earn a corner kick that was taken by Carter Watkinson. His delivery found the head of Cooper Jones who directed it goalward only to have it ding the crossbar. As the ball rebounded into the six-yard box, UMN Morris had a second attempt on goal and this time the referee judged that the hand of Lucas Schoeneberg was used to keep the ball from crossing the line, earning him a yellow card and giving the Cougars a penalty kick. Watkinson drilled his penalty out of the reach of Lucas Cisneros to give Minnesota Morris a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
The lead for the Cougars lasted only until the 14th minute. Jack Gentilli was a threat running up and down the wings throughout the day and his cross into the box was handled nice by Lucas Godon on the half-volley to make the score 1-1. In the 18th minute, UW-Platteville earned a corner kick and Quincy Ott scored off of it, placing the ball over Harmon and into the side netting at the back post.
Those three goals in the early going proved to be all the scoring there would be in the match. UW-Platteville put together numerous chances, ending with 30 total shots in the match with 13 of those on goal. However, with Harmon working overtime in between the sticks, the Cougars would not concede again. Unfortunately the defense of UW-Platteville was well-drilled and barely allowed any time on the ball for Minnesota Morris in the attacking third. In the final five minutes, UW-Platteville’s Konrad Ziaja was carded and that gave Watkinson a chance from 30 yards out for a free kick, but goalkeeper Chase Werner collected his effort from distance. That was the final shot of the match for the Cougars as Harmon’s 11 saves proved to be not enough.
Minnesota Morris will hit the road on Sept. 10 for its first road match of the 2021 season, facing Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. starting at 4 p.m.