The Bethel College men’s soccer team got a little fight from Southwestern in the first half of its KCAC opener Wednesday night at Joe W. Goering Field, but the Threshers pushed through in the second half for a 3-1 win.
“We started moving the ball around a lot better in the second half,” Bethel coach Victor Garcia-Bebek said. “We talked about what we needed to do at the half and we played much better in the second half. We were a lot faster. We created a lot more chances. We played well in the first couple of minutes, but once we scored a goal, we thought ‘that was it, we were done.’ Then we started to play their game. … Southwestern was trying to slow the game down. They came in here wanting a result. We were able to start overloading the attack and get numbers on the attack.”
Southwestern fell to 0-8 for the season and are on a 13-game losing streak dating back to last season. The last win for the Moundbuilders was a forfeit against Friends.
Joshua Clay scored two goals for Bethel. Chris Torres added a goal with an assist.
“I got a pass from Chris Torres and I just decided to shoot it,” Clay said of his first goal. “It was a good pass. The second one, I couldn’t have done without Aron Lundh. He told me to just shoot it and not ask for distance or anything. I just shot it. This was big. Now we have to keep going Saturday.”
Clay is a junior from Escondido, Calif. He transferred to Bethel from Palomar College, a junior college in San Diego.
“The old coach recruited me,” Clay said. “I just decided to come out and see. I like it so far.”
Bethel outshot Southwestern 12-5, 9-2 in the second half. Albert Bratthammar had one save in goal for Bethel. Dean Wilson had two saves for Southwestern.
Bethel took possession early, scoring in the seventh minute on a goal by Torres, set up by a Richard Ebel pass. Southwestern needed just 39 seconds to tie the game. Fernando Salazar made a long run, was tripped on a slide tackle from behind in the penalty box and converted the penalty kick.
Bethel struck on a pair of quick plays in the second half. Clay took a back pass from Torres and threaded the needle for the go-ahead goal in the 53rd minute. Clay they scored on a quick restart about 20 yards out in the 58th minute.
Bethel is 5-3 and plays at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Leavenworth against Saint Mary. The Spires are 4-4, 0-1 in KCAC play, after a 5-2 loss to Friends.
“The thing we emphasize in practice is we need to worry about us and the things we need to do,” Garcia-Bebek said. “If we do the right stuff, we’ll get the results we want and it will be difficult for the other teams to play against us.”
1. B Chris Torres (Richard Ebel) 6:37
2. S Fernando Salazar (penalty kick) 7:16
3. B Joshua Clay (Torres) 52:31
4. B Clay (unassisted) 57:59
Total shots — SC 3-2—5, BC 3-9—12. Shots on goal — SC 2-0—2, BC 1-4—5. Saves — SC: Dean Wilson (L) 0-2—2. BC: Albert Bratthammar (W) 1-0—1. Corner kicks — SC 1, BC 4. Fouls — SC 8, BC 8. Offside — SC 1, BC 5. Cautions — SC: Dante Alonso 50:30, Tre Thomas 60:32, Wilson 57:59, Jacob Rangel 58:25. BC: Austin Cooper 7:16, Torres 50:08, Bryant Soriano 78:35.