The No. 22-ranked SVSU men’s soccer team fell in its GLIAC opener 1-0 to visiting Wisconsin-Parkside on Friday, Sept. 14.
The trend of possession and shot domination, but few goals, continued for the Cardinals, as they rattled off 25 shots to Parkside’s six. However, it was Henry Bruer’s 82nd-minute header on a free kick from Leki Prpa that gave the Rangers the 1-0 win.
SVSU has held a sizable advantage in shots in every match so far this season, but has only three total goals and two wins to show for it, as the squad’s record now stands at 2-1-2 (0-1-0 in the GLIAC).
“We have had so many chances, which is encouraging, but we just have to show more composure and quality in front of goal,” head coach Andy Wagstaff said. “I am convinced that we will start scoring a lot of goals if we can keep our confidence and belief.”
Early in the game, the Rangers offense managed a shot in both the 11th and 12th minutes, before SVSU had three shots of its own in under a minute, all of which were blocked by the Parkside defense. The Cardinals continued to rattle off shot after shot for the duration of the half, outshooting the Rangers 14-4 in the first 45 minutes.
The second half was more of the same, as SVSU outshot Wisconsin-Parkside by an 11-2 mark, which included four more shots on goal (all saved by Gonzalez).
“Every single player on this team can find the back of the net,” said junior midfielder Pablo Ortiz, who had two shots in the contest, one on goal. “They are outstanding players. It’s a little bit of luck and a little bit of technical and tactical work. Once one person starts scoring, we will all start.”
Sophomore forward Michael Hamilton and junior forward Azaad Liadi had three shots in the game, freshman midfielder Brady Walker had four and freshman forward Liam Travers had five. SVSU also held a 13-4 advantage in corner kicks.
However, the dagger came in the 82nd minute, when Prpa found Bruer on a free kick that gave the Rangers the game’s lone goal. It was Bruer’s first goal of the season.
“(Friday), we bossed the game for 70 out of the 90 minutes but lost our concentration on a set piece that led to the goal,” Wagstaff said. “Defensively we were OK, but we lacked our normal concentration and toughness at times.”
The Cardinals will look to get back on track next week as they travel to GLIAC opponents Purdue Northwest on Friday, Sept. 21, and Davenport on Sunday, Sept. 23.