2015 Men's Soccer
Defiance 2, Bluffton 1 (2 OT)
October 21, 2015
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's soccer team took advantage of a red card on Defiance's keeper midway through period one, but the Yellow Jackets continued to grind and it paid off as rival Defiance headed back north with its first Heartland Conference victory of the season, 2-1 in double overtime. The Beavers slipped to 0-12-2 overall and 0-4-2 in the HCAC following a third straight double overtime contest. Defiance moved to 5-9-1 and 1-4-1 in the conference.
Bluffton controlled the action throughout the first half and the home team capitalized when Ryan Johnson-Evers (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) got past the Defiance keeper forcing a takedown that resulted in a red card in minute 30. The standout senior hit paydirt on the penalty kick for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 lead with just over 15 minutes to play in the opening stanza. The ejection also left Defiance a man down for the remainder of the match.
With Bluffton still up 1-0 early in period two, Bluffton keeper Matt Hardman-Zimmerman (Forest City, PA) was whistled for a push in the back on a corner kick, giving Defiance a chance to even the score. Jordan Drake knifed his penalty kick through, knotting the match at 1-1 with 27:20 to play. The Yellow Jackets continued to match Bluffton despite playing 10 on 11 for over 70 minutes as the score remained 1-1 through regulation and the first extra session. However, less than three minutes into the second overtime, Drake found Nick Kleptz darting up the left sideline and Kleptz did the rest, ending it in minute 103 as the Jackets stunned Bluffton for the 2-1 victory.
The Beavers finished with a marked 25-13 edge in shots, but Defiance put two more on frame (11-9). Both teams took seven corner kicks, while Bluffton was whistled for offsides eight times, compared to just two for the visitors. Defiance was called for two more fouls (12-10).
Grant Stutzman (Sugarcreek/Hiland) and Ryan Johnson-Evers paced Bluffton with five and four shots, respectively. John Eckenrode (Northwood/Lake), Adrian Ramirez (Archbold) and Michael Ralph (Mansfield/Christian) all chipped in with three shots. Hardman-Zimmerman finished with eight saves for the Beavers.
Bluffton makes the long trip to Lexington, Ky., for a matchup with Transylvania on Saturday, Oct. 24. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. following the women's clash with the Pioneers.