Men’s Soccer Stun Nationally-Ranked Olivet, 2-1

Matt Davis
Matt Davis

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Bulldogs (6-12, 4-8) won their fourth consecutive home game by rallying in the second half to overcome a 1-0 deficit, and beat Olivet (14-3-1, 9-3), 2-1, Wednesday night in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action.

The men's soccer team had played five consecutive 1-0 games entering tonight's contest. Olivet entered the match just one game out of first place in the MIAA and ranked nationally No. 23 by D3soccer.com.

"We made some second half adjustments to get us more dangerous and more on the ball and finished very strong," said head men's coach Chris LeFevre.

Matt Davis tied the game at 1-1, after he was able to head the ball past the Comets' goalkeeper after Nick Minshall's free kick from about 40 yards out at 65:55.

A little more than 11 minutes later, Christian Martin found Juan Bernal at the top of the 18. Bernal struck it well and buried it to the left side. Martin started the play down the right side with a give-and-go with Ryan McCarthy before finally finding Bernal for the game winner.

For Bernal and Davis, it was their first markers of the season. For Martin, he was the spark that changed the game.

The Bulldogs did not look like a team reflected by their record. Several players had key scoring chances- missing by inches with most of them generated from set pieces. Travis Smith just missed a header off a corner kick in the first half and when the Bulldogs dominated the contest in the second half, both Bernal and McCarthy were in close with good scoring chances with the former missing high and the latter missing wide right.

Bernal, who had been out of the lineup from the beginning of the season due to injury, looked determined to redeem that earlier miss and did, after recently returning to action.

Although the team's starting lineup consists of nearly two-thirds of underclassman, they have been tough the last six matches in October, winning three and losing three. Of the three wins, they have knocked off two of the MIAA's top three teams- Hope and Olivet.

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