2006 Men's Soccer
Bluffton vs. Manchester
Beavers win second straight HCAC contest, 4-3, over Manchester in overtime
October 10, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - In a contest marred by penalties and yellow cards, the Bluffton University men's soccer team picked up its second consecutive victory by a score of 4-3 in overtime against Manchester College (7-5, 2-2 HCAC). With the victory, Bluffton improves to 2-9 overall and 2-3 in the Heartland Conference.
With Manchester controlling the action throughout most of the first half, the Spartans got on the board first when Aaron Cripes found an opening from the close right wing and capitalized at the 23:52 mark. Before the Beavers could reorganize their efforts, Parker Swanson put Manchester up, 2-0, 27 minutes into the opening stanza. The Spartans took advantage of a Bluffton team that was in a state of disarray as Swanson caught Bluffton goalie Ryan Thomas (Jamestown/Greenview) at the top of the box and drilled his second goal of the game on an assist from Austin Freels with eight minutes to play in the first period.
When Nate Flath (Wadsworth/Wadsworth) beat his defender two minutes after the Spartans third goal, the momentum changed and the Beavers began to increase their physical play against a strong Manchester club that had pushed them around early in the contest. Flath's goal in the 40th minute gave Bluffton the spark it needed as Manchester's lead was trimmed to 3-1 at the break.
Shortly after Thomas was whistled for a yellow card, the Beavers took advantage of a Manchester infraction in the box as Flath picked up his second goal of the game on a penalty kick at the 60:28 mark. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the contest, Flath freed himself in the box and knotted the contest at three when he completed his hat trick against the Spartans.
Confident and playing like it, the Beavers immediately went to work in extra time and when Phil Keeler (Bluffton/Bluffton) found a streaking Louis Cancasci (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) driving toward the goal, Bluffton had its second consecutive victory, a 4-3 win over Manchester in the sixth minute of overtime.
The Beavers took 10 shots for the contest compared to 12 for the Spartans. Bluffton incurred 25 fouls, including four yellow cards, while Manchester racked up 12 penalties in the contest. Flath led the Beavers with five shots, four on goal, and he found the back of the net three times. Cancasci netted the game winner on his only shot in the Bluffton victory. Thomas finished with four saves.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, October 14, when they travel to Anderson University where they will face the Ravens at 1 p.m.