The University of Minnesota Morris men’s soccer team was challenged by Crown College throughout the first half and into the start of the second, but the opening goal in the 51st minute for the Cougars flipped all the momentum in favor of the home team and UMN Morris dominated the second half of a 2-0 victory. The win ups the Minnesota Morris record to 4-9-1 (4-3-1 UMAC) on the season.
The best scoring opportunity in the early minutes of the match was more of a cross than a shot, but Crown’s AJ Sanchez had his feed from the left wing sail over Lucas Harmon and ding the far post to keep the match scoreless. In the 18th minute, Harmon was called upon again as he made a miraculous double save, stopping a shot from Tim Jaeger and then a point-blank look from Jimmy Anderson within seconds to keep things at 0-0. The best chance for the Cougars in the first half was a shot from Tommy Ellis in the 27th minute that hit the crossbar, but the match went to halftime still knotted at 0-0.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 51st minute of the match. Off of a Crown goal kick, Carver Hammond was the first to touch it and he played the ball forward to Corbin McCall. McCall then slid a nice through ball into the heart of the Crown defense and Carter Watkinson finished it past Foster Browning to give Minnesota Morris a 1-0 advantage.
The Cougars piled on the pressure from there, including a long-range effort from Tristan Cruz in the 63rd minute that smashed into the crossbar and down, but didn’t fully cross the goal line. Minnesota Morris put the finishing touches on the victory in the 77th minute when the Cougars earned a corner kick and Watkinson put in a good delivery that took a bounce before Carson Friestad tapped it home from in close. The defense took care of the rest as Crown was held to just two total shots in the second half, neither of which was on target.
Harmon picked up his second shutout of the season, making four saves. Watkinson led all players in the match with six shots, two on target. Hammond had three shots and Cruz attempted two.
Minnesota Morris faces an important battle in the UMAC on Friday afternoon in St. Paul with a 3:30 p.m. road match at the University of Northwestern.