Free Kick Score in 88th Minute Stings Jackets in Final Match
DEFIANCE, Ohio – In heartbreaking fashion, the DC men's soccer team ended its season on a sour note, as it was defeated by the Hanover College Panthers 1-0 on senior day Saturday, October 27. The game was a true battle, as both teams played well in the match, but the visitors came out on top in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup.
Action got underway with both squads struggling to maintain possession early on. Slowly, as each squad felt out the opponent's defense, the teams started seeing opportunities at the net. Defiance edged out the Panthers 6-to-4 over the first 45 minutes but the score remained square at zero, as neither could convert.
In the second half, play picked up with each side playing more aggressive. Hanover was starting to gain the momentum though, by putting pressure on senior goalie Taylor Smoot who came in for the second period.
The Panthers racked up five attempts at the net in the first 12 minutes alone and continued throughout the period. But the DC defense held tight in the physical match. In total, the two teams combined for 27 fouls (15 for Defiance and 12 for Hanover) and three yellow cards, as play was chippy.
Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, their last foul of the game gave the visitors a free kick directly in front of the net and right outside the box. With just under two minutes remaining, the Panthers Vicente Munoz stepped up and chipped a score into the upper right 90 over the wall of DC defenders for the game-winning goal.
Hanover used up the remaining clock and stole away the victory on the day, to finish its season .500 at 7-7-4 (3-4-2 HCAC). With the defeat, DC ended its campaign with a final record of 3-15-1 (3-5-1 HCAC).
It was a devastating blow for Defiance, as the team had given everything it had in the match to try and win the last game for seniors Ryan Owens, Jeff Cowles, Sean Mukhtar and Taylor Smoot. All four were recognized before the game for their four years with the program.