ADRIAN, Mich. – The men's soccer team has been fighting through a rough patch and the signs of turning it around were on display in a 2-1 overtime loss against Hope on Wednesday (Oct. 15). The Bulldogs battled the Flying Dutchmen (12-3) into extra time on a rainy evening and in the process showed toughness that will benefit them for the rest of the season.
Hope controlled the tempo and possession in the first half keeping Adrian on their heels. Tarwo Konbloa put his team on the board at 25:02 with his fourth of the season. Corey Stelk played a long ball into the 18-yard box and Konbloa headed it inside the right post from around 15 yards. Hope had 12 total shots and five shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes.
Adrian got a little more physical in the second half and were whistled for seven fouls. The result was the Bulldogs keeping the ball a little bit more and changing momentum from the first half. Lino Taormina had one of his best games of the season making several point-blank saves. He finished with nine saves and allowed Adrian to tie the score.
Senior Nick Minshall scored a header off a corner kick by Sean Cain at 72:27 just inside the left post on a quick flick. Minshall's sixth of the season seemed to stun the Flying Dutchmen. Hope came back on the attack in the final five minutes but could not break the tie. Hope got the game-winning goal 1:35 into overtime as Josh Hagene scored his seventh of the season. David Porte took the ball down the right sideline and passed the ball into the 18-yard area where Hagene lifted the ball over an Adrian defender and past Taormina into the lower left corner from around 15 yards.
"I thought we played well," said head coach Charlie Edwards. "Before the game I challenged our guys to come out and raise the level of toughness, show us energy from the start of the game, and to trust themselves. They met my expectations and proved that they can raise the level of play. You have to give Hope credit, they found a way to win. We did start a little slow, and they gave us some fits in the first half. However, we made adjustments at halftime that really changed the game. We deserved a better result, but that is the nature of the game sometimes."