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Cougar men drop opener in OT

The University of Minnesota, Morris opened the men's soccer season with an overtime loss Tuesday at home.

The Cougars battled Augsburg, the 17th-ranked team in the nation, scoreless for 98 minutes of aggressive, physical and fast-paced soccer. In the end, it was an "own goal" deflected on a corner kick off a UMM player that ultimately decided the game in favor of the Auggies in the first overtime.

During regulation the Cougars outshot the Auggies, 16-13, holding them to just two shots in the first half alone, and had a clear advantage in time of possession, showing mid-season form with their ball handling and passing.

Physical play marked the contest with 30 fouls rung up between the teams. Midfielders Patrick O'Connor, Matt Johnson, Kelsey Duerr and several other Cougars fought hard all game long to control the field.

After the game, head coach Christian DeVries appeared calm and kept the loss in perspective.

"Hey, we outshot the number 17 team in the nation and I thought our back three [Dana Veth, Justin O'Connor, and Greg Borchers] shut them down the entire game."

The own goal came late in the first overtime on an Augsburg cross that bounced into a mass of players in front of the goal, eventually ricocheting off a Cougar and past goalkeeper Tyler Weber.

"Bad things happen when the ball gets inside the six," Borchers said after the game.

The Cougars host their second MIAC opponent in a row, Hamline University, on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.