No. 2 Mustangs outlast ENMU 3-2

CNJ staff

PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University men’s soccer team did something Friday it hadn’t done against Midwestern State in the equivalent of nearly eight matches. In fact, the Greyhounds did it twice.

ENMU erased a 2-0 deficit with second-half goals by senior defender Dreaux Plair and sophomore defender Michael Stewart, but the second-ranked Mustangs got a late tally from junior midfielder David Freeland to pull out a 3-2 Lone Star Conference win at the ENMU pitch.

The goals were the first for ENMU against the Mustangs (15-0-2, 6-0-1 LSC) since a quarterfinal match in the then-Southwest Soccer Conference tournament Oct. 26, 2006. It ended a scoreless span of 714 minutes, 53 seconds.

It was also the first time the Hounds (8-8-2, 2-5-1) have scored multiple goals against MSU, and the first time they had scored against the Mustangs at home since 2005.

Nathan Fitgerald scored from about 40 yards out and VcMor Eligwe added a header to give the Mustangs a 2-0 halftime lead. Early in the second half, the Hounds missed on two headers off a corner kick before Plair headed in a rebound shot four minutes into the period.

Stewart’s tying goal came on a header off a missed header by freshman Jehmaine Brooks with just under 20 minutes left. Freeland netted the game-winner with 4:25 left, converting a through pass from Dean Lovegrove.

While the match ended the season for the Hounds, Midwestern returns to Wichita Falls to host West Texas A&M in its regular-season finale on Sunday, then the LSC tournament beginning on Thursday.

MSU is the lone undefeated team in NCAA Division II and has not lost in 33 matches, dating to last season.