The WT Men’s Soccer squad posted a 2-1 record over the past week, starting with a victory over UT-Permian Basin 3-1 on Oct. 16 in Odessa before dropping a 3-2 decision to Incarnate Word on Friday and scoring an emotional 2-1 win over Midwestern State on Sunday at The Pitch.
“We have two wins and a loss, and even though we did lose on Friday, it was disappointing but it’s hard to be down on the players and hard to be down on the way we played because we played so well and sometimes soccer just goes against you,” Head Coach Butch Lauffer said. “It’s a crazy game, like life. You do everything right and it bites you in the butt. We still have two regular season games to play and we’re going to try to stay healthy and keep the players as fresh as possible.”
Senior midfielder Dominic Furness had a big day on Oct. 16, scoring two goals for the Buffs while sophomore striker Martin Fuentes knocked a goal off of a low cross to handily defeat the Falcons. Sophomore midfielder Conrod Goulbourne provided two assists, as fellow sophomore midfielder George Beasley had one assist. UTPB’s lone score came in the first half with an Oscar Reyes goal and Giovanni Gomez was given the assist. With the initial victory, Lauffer achieved his 450th career win as coach of both the women’s and men’s soccer programs.
Returning home to The Pitch on Friday, the Buffaloes found themselves in for a rude awakening against LSC archrival Incarnate Word. Despite running ahead early with a Martin Fuentes goal and senior midfielder Abel Olivas’ assist, the Cardinals equalized with a James Nero score and a Tenny Adebowale corner kick assist. Before the half, the white-clad home side retook the lead with sophomore striker Wayne Bruton knocked in a header off senior midfielder Lukas Garcia’s near-midfield free kick. While the Buffs dominated the first half, Incarnate Word stormed back and captured a season sweep of the Buffs behind a Dylan Kelly score and a goal and assist by Abraham Campos and Leon Taylor respectively.
Moving forward from their second loss in the 2012 campaign, the Buffs took to the field on Sunday in the first of two games against no. 21 Midwestern State. While the Mustangs struck first blood with a Ben Clarvis goal and Fernando Garza assist in the first half, the second half would provide a Buffalo equalizer in the form of Bruton’s fifth goal of the year and an Olivas assist in the 64th minute. The two sides would hold together defensively until the second overtime, where senior defender Colin Bjostad tapped his sixth goal of the season as Dominic Furness gave his sixth assist overall to give the Buffaloes their eleventh victory of the campaign.
“It was a tough weekend. There were a lot of tired bodies out there and it was a grind – a very epic battle,” Furness said. Furness is currently the Lone Star Conference points and goals leader and shares second in the conference in assists with junior midfielder Carl Prestidge and UIW’s Vincent Bailey.
In this latest run, the Buffs improve to .500 in the LSC with a steady 2-2 and 11-2-2 overall. The UTPB Falcons continue their losing skid to seven consecutive games, moving onward with a 5-8 record. LSC foe Incarnate Word is riding on a ten-match winning streak with a 10-2 record and an unblemished 3-0 conference tally while Midwestern State is winless in the Lone Star with a 0-2 record, despite being 8-2-4 overall. The Buffaloes look to defend The Pitch once more when they host Eastern New Mexico on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.