Men’s soccer turning season around

Junior Matt Moore was named Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Junior Matt Moore was named Heartland Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Kayla Meyer

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The St. Edward’s University men’s soccer team has finally turned its season around by picking up its first two wins against conference opponents on Oct. 9 and Oct. 11.  “It feels great to get the two wins because not only were they our first two wins of the season, but they were two conference wins,” said senior Josh Nannen. “The conference championship is still up for grabs and we plan on taking it.” Before the two wins, the Hilltoppers had lost six games and tied two. The beginning of the season has been tough for the men’s soccer team as they have played seven out of their first eight games against nationally ranked teams including previously 5th ranked Midwestern State University, previously 16th ranked West Texas A&M and previously 14th ranked Incarnate Word.  After these two conference wins, the Hilltoppers are currently ranked third in the Heartland Conference behind Incarnate Word and Texas A&M International.The St. Edward’s men’s soccer team beat the University of Texas Permian Basin 2-0 on Oct. 9 and Newman University 1-0 on Oct. 11 after one overtime period. Nannen scored the first goal in the match against UT-Permian Basin after getting behind the defense and around the Falcon goalkeeper in the 40th minute of the game. After halftime, senior Scott Strickland scored from a penalty shot in the 47th minute. This was Nannen’s first goal of the season and only fourth game he played this season because of a knee injury. Nannen said it feels outstanding to finally play. “There is no worse feeling than being injured and helpless on the sidelines watching your team play,” said Nannen.  “I’m excited to help the team to a conference championship.” The Hilltoppers were able to outshoot the Falcons 15-10. Senior Matt Moore calculated two saves in this game.”Hard work was the key to our success over the weekend,” said Moore. “Everyone on the team was dedicated to giving everything they had.”In the match against Newman, Strickland grabbed another penalty kick in the fifth minute of overtime to allow the Hilltoppers to win 1-0. The penalty kick was granted when senior Ezual Lewis was fouled in the box by a Jet defender. “We played each game to the very last minute and a lot of times the team that works the hardest throughout will win the game,” said Nannen.  The Hilltoppers oushot Newman 17-12, while Moore picked up seven saves. The game was quite competitive as there was an overall total of 40 fouls in the game. “The two wins felt great,” Moore said. “We have a chance to win conference so we just had to put our losses behind us and start fresh. Hopefully these two wins will help spark a win streak throughout the rest of the season.”The Hilltoppers will face two more conference opponents this weekend. They will play St. Mary’s University at home on Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. and Texas A&M International University at home on Oct. 18 at 1 p.m.