MSOC: WT claims LSC title with thrilling win

Courtesy: LoneStarConference.org

West Texas A&M got a first-half goal and a thrilling penalty save to claim the Spring 2021 LSC Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament title with a 1-0 victory over Midwestern State.

The Buffs were quick out of the gates dominating possession and forcing multiple MSU turnovers in the WT attacking third. The control of possession and territory ultimately led to a big chance with Giancarlo Saldana hitting the crossbar on a through ball from Denis Herrera on the left side of the penalty area.

WT created several more opportunities to find the net including one that was saved off the line by Rory O’Keeffe. The Buffs finally broke through in the 43rd minute on a Saldana free-kick after the junior sent the Mustang goalkeeper the wrong way from 20 yards out. All told in the first half WT outshot MSU 10-2 overall and 5-1 on target.

Out of the break, WT nearly struck again after Herrera drew a penalty just 12 seconds into the half. But, MSU keeper Taylor Lampe was equal to it saving the attempt to his left to keep the score level.

From that point on, the Mustangs upped the tempo taking control of much of the possession and creating three chances over the next 17 minutes.

The biggest chance for MSU came in the 72nd minute when Mere Escobar cut inside on his defender forcing a late tackle from Callum Doyle and earn the Mustangs a chance to equalize from the penalty spot.

O’Keeffe stepped up to take the attempt rocketing a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal, but WT keeper Alexander Vencel was quick off of his line and covered the distance to palm away the attempt and maintain the Buffs’ lead.

The Mustangs continued to press as WT set up the defensive block creating a couple more looks at goal, but were unable to breakthrough.

The Buffs earned their first LSC tournament title since 2000 with the win over Midwestern State and avenged one of their two losses during the regular season.