On Saturday, Oct. 21, the Northwestern men’s soccer team took on the No. 1 team in the GPAC, the Hastings Broncos, at home. The soccer match would end with Hastings taking the victory 3-1 and continuing their undefeated season in GPAC play. Despite the loss, the men’s soccer team is currently No. 3 in the GPAC.
From kickoff to the final seconds, the match was physically and emotionally draining for both players and fans. At the 17th minute a Hastings player, Murilo Ceruli, received double yellow cards that escalated into a red card and his ejection from the game. The incident occurred after a battle over the ball with senior Connor Sams and earned Ceruli a foul. Hastings would continue the rest of the match down a player.
The first goal of the game came at the 18th minute from a penalty kick that was the result of a foul due to junior keeper Matt Scott making physical contact with a Hastings player in an attempt to capture the ball. The next goal of the night for the Broncos came less than a minute later. In a fast break, Hastings set up a double team against Scott, giving the Broncos a 2-0 lead to finish out the first period.
The match would continue to be a laborious battle in the second half of play. In the 77th minute, Hastings would go on to score their third goal of the night. There were a few confusing events involving an off-sides call being waved off by the referee that ended in another two-on-one against Scott, resulting in a Hastings goal.
After the third goal by Hastings, NW stepped up their intensity and began to attack the Broncos defense. The effort put forth by the Raiders resulted in a late second half goal. In a crowded penalty box, sophomore Breno Fabbri was able to put the scoring touch on the ball passed by junior Lee Wynja in the 79th minute. NW would have a few other shots on the goal including an 87th minute penalty kick by senior Isaac Wong that would be blocked by the Hastings keeper.
The Raiders record stands at 10-5-2 (6-2 in GPAC play). The men’s soccer team plays their last regular season game at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Briar Cliff in Sioux City. A victory away could mean a Top 3 finish heading into the GPAC tournament.