UW-Parkside’s men’s soccer team managed to pull out another close win at home advancing to 4-0 at Wood Road Field. Although it did not come easy, it was a key 1-0 victory for the team in the Great Lakes Valley Conference against Missouri-St. Louis. UW-Parkside now stands in ninth place in the GLVC at 2-2-1 in conference (4-2-1 overall) and Missouri-St. Louis slides down to twelfth with a 1-2-2 record in conference (2-2-3 overall).
The first half started out very slow for both teams; they both seemed to have a lack of confidence. UM-SL seemed to control for most of the first half, but UW-Parkside was hanging in the game and almost got a break in the final minute of play. A corner kick by Ruben Torres was deflected in, but it was quickly called off as there was a foul on the play.
UW-Parkside broke the deadlock in the fiftieth minute of the second half after the team received a free kick. Taking It was Junior Mike Asen that stepped up from thirty yards out and sent a rocket to the top left corner that bounced off post and into the goal to put Parkside ahead 1-0.
“This was basically a carbon-copy of what we’ve been doing all year,” said UW-Parkside men’s soccer head coach Jason Zitzke. “We’ve just been missing out on putting chances in the back of the net and today we finished one.”
From that moment onwards, Parkside stepped up the intensity on defense shutting down one of the top scorers in the GLVC. Almin Sabotic is ranked seventh in the GLVC in goals. He seemed out of the loop Friday and wasn’t really able to get anything going.
UM-SL finally got some really good pressure in the last fifteen minutes, but it wasn’t enough to break UW-Parkside’s freshman goalie Nick Huftalin who was playing like upperclassmen. His soccer IQ and leadership shined in the win over UM-SL as he managed the UW-Parkside team to a clean sheet.
“Nick Huftalin was just real sound in goal,” said Zitzke. “Every cross he came out to get he did a great job and really owned the box.”
Now the Rangers will try to stay undefeated at home on Wood Road Field as they play this Sunday against Maryville University at 2:30pm.
Article by: Jacob Bullis