UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Cardinal men's soccer program hosted the Tiffin Dragons at Braddock Field on Wednesday (Oct. 5) to make-up the postponed match from last Wednesday (Sept. 28). The top-ranked GLIAC teams set the pace defensively with few chances and plenty of physicality. The Cardinals would grab the lead late off a header with just three minutes left in regulation to secure their sixth consecutive win.
SVSU junior Matt Wilson began the scoring after he was pulled down splitting two Tiffin defenders in the six-yard box. He would be awared a penalty kick and beat the goalie high in the right corner for his eighth goal of the season.
The two teams would continue to hold steady defensively, neutralizing the middle of the field and limiting chances on net. Cardinal goalkeeper Connor Keane was tested with just seven seconds left in the first period, but a Tiffin shot went high over the goal and the Cardinals led 1-0 after the first 45 minutes.
Tiffin started the second half controlling much of the possession. The Dragons were able to get a long clearing pass to senior forward Andre Lindell. He stepped just outside the six-yard box and floated a ball on the ground past Keane to tie the game, 1-1, in the 57th minute.
Both teams would amplify the physical play in the second half and continued to limit the possession in the middle of the field. The Cardinals had a flurry of chances in the 64th to 66th minutes of the match, but were unable to connect. They stayed persistent, however, as Matt Wilson made the most of a corner kick.
The junior forward arched the corner kick high enough for freshman Pablo Ortiz to head the ball past the Tiffin goalkeeper and give Saginaw Valley a 2-1 lead with three minutes left in match. The Cardinals would prevent Tiffin from allowing a shot in the final minutes and held on for their sixth straight win and a spot atop the GLIAC standings.
Inside the Boxscore
- Wilson scored his eighth goal of the season off a penalty kick. That was Wilson's first career penalty kick attempt as a Cardinal. He led the team with two shots on goal in the match and assisted on Ortiz's game-winning goal.
- Ortiz's goal in the 87th minute was his first as a Cardinal.
- Saginaw Valley had five corner kicks in the match compared to Tiffin's two. They were outshot by the Dragons, 10-9.
- Keane made one save and recorded his eighth win. He ranks fourth in shutouts (3), goal against average (1.08) and is tied for the most wins in the GLIAC.
- Saginaw Valley also leads the GLIAC with fewest goals against (9) and Matt Wilson leads the GLIAC in points (22), goals (8) and assists (6).
From Head Coach Andy Wagstaff
"I'm really proud of the team for pulling off a win against 12th-ranked Tiffin. We were very good in the first half but in the second half Tiffin came at us a bit. Overall, I was extremely happy for Pablo to score the game-winner late on in the match to get us the three points!"
The Cardinals are off until Sunday (Oct. 9), when SVSU hosts rival Northwood University at Braddock Field. First kick is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., as Saginaw Valley looks to claim its seventh straight match.
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