2008 Men's Soccer
Bluffton 3, Defiance 1
Bluffton improves to 2-2 in the HCAC with 3-1 win at Defiance
October 14, 2008
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's soccer team used a pair of second half goals to keep Defiance College winless on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. Bluffton moved back to .500 overall and in the Heartland Conference at 6-6-1 and 2-2 in the HCAC. Defiance dropped to 0-13 on the season, with a 0-4 mark in the conference.
The 3-1 victory snapped a seven-match losing skid at the hands of the Yellow Jackets. Bluffton last defeated Defiance 2-1 in 2001. Included in the losing streak were four shutouts recorded by Defiance. Bluffton's six victories are the most since the Beavers went 6-13 in 2005.
Neither team was able to take control in the first half as shots were tough to come by throughout the opening 30 minutes of action. Sophomore Jacob Graham (Gomer/Elida) broke the stalemate when he collected a pass from former high school teammate Nick Evans (Elida/Elida) and gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead at the 31:29 mark.
It took Defiance just 16 seconds to pull even following the Graham goal. Greg Vogt found Matthew Johnson and the Yellow Jackets were once again knotted with the visitors at the 31:45 mark.
Bluffton outshot Defiance 3-1 over the final 13 minutes of the half, but neither team was able to get any separation on the scoreboard as the two backyard rivals went to the break tied at one.
The Beavers reclaimed the lead less than seven minutes into the second half when senior Nate Flath (Wadsworth/Wadsworth) found the back of the net thanks to a nice feed from sophomore Nolan Phelps (Monroe/Lemon-Monroe).
Graham iced the contest for Bluffton with his second goal of the game in minute 88 after Defiance blocked Flath's shot attempt just seconds earlier. The two teams exchanged pleasantries in the final minute of action as Defiance was awarded a late yellow card, but Bluffton avoided any cautions in taking down Defiance for the first time in eight tries.
Flath and Dan Tinch (Middletown/Madison) led the Beavers with four and three shots, respectively. Graham made good on both of his shot attempts. Dan Saville (Toledo/Central Catholic) and Brian Good (Elida/Elida) combine for five saves and they limited Defiance to just one goal in the victory.
The Beavers fired 16 shots, three more than Defiance. Bluffton forced seven corner kicks and held Defiance to just three in the contest. The home team was whistled for a whopping 22 fouls, while Bluffton was called for only six infractions.
Bluffton will be trying to go over .500 overall and in the HCAC when the Beavers host Franklin College on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. The contest is slated to start at 3 p.m. following the women's match.