The Houston Baptist University men's soccer team had not come from behind to win a game all season, but the Huskies have now done it twice in a row, as they rallied from an early 1-0 deficit for a 4-2 win over Belmont University Tuesday night at Sorrels Field in southwest Houston. HBU (6-7-1) will now face two road games to close the regular season before heading into the Atlantic Soccer Conference Tournament.
HBU had pulled out a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Longwood last Friday that gave HBU three consecutive wins on the heels of a five-game losing streak. The Huskies headed into Tuesday's game as favorites against a sub-.500 Belmont team playing its final game of the regular season, and HBU - honoring its first class of four-year seniors in their final home game - looked the part throughout the match.
Led by central midfielders Tanner Fyfe (Austin Lake Travis) and Duke Ogega, a senior, the Huskies controlled play early on a sloppy field still waterlogged in places from Monday night's storm. Despite HBU's possession, Belmont took the lead in the 14th minute when midfielder Bradley Shuck chipped a pass into the box for forward Will Moorad, who cut the ball back to a wide-open Edgardo Padilla at the penalty spot, and Padilla fired a one-timer past a helpless Chris Dodd in the HBU goal.
The Huskies responded quickly, however, tying the game in the 29th minute thanks to hard work from sophomore forward Leonel Munoz (Houston Westside), as he and Fyfe did well to keep possesion in close quarters on the right side of the penalty area. Fyfe then squared the ball across the edge of the six-yard box, where freshman Kristopher Tyrpak (Dripping Springs) deftly finished with a one-time shot.
HBU took the lead just four minutes later, as a clearance from John McDuffee (Plano East) at the back found Tyrpak in space on the left. He broke into the penalty area and sidestepped one defender on the left, then squared the ball for Munoz, who took one touch around Belmont goalkeeper Wesley Wray and tapped the ball in for the go-ahead goal.
Belmont got the fierce wind at its back in the second half and took advantage against the run of play in the 53rd minute, as several HBU players stopped for an apparent foul, only to see the Bruins continue playing and score with a tap-in from Brandon Tarr despite the best efforts of Dodd.
The Huskies carried on, however, with close chances from Fyfe in the 61st minute and Munoz in the 71st minute. The pressure finally paid off in the 73rd minute, as an HBU corner was kept alive in the penalty area, and Munoz finally blasted it to the back post, where Ogega touched it into the net, then celebrated in style with the home fans.
Munoz put the match away in the 84th minute, running onto another through ball from forward partner Tyrpak and tapping in the rebound after Belmont goalkeeper Juho Illi made an initial save. All that was left was for head coach Steve Jones to pull seniors Dodd, Ogega, Lorne Cameron, and Andrew Collins with 20 seconds remaining for a well-deserved round of applause.
With four consecutive wins and a 2-0 mark in Atlantic Soccer Conference play, HBU appears to be peaking at the right time. The Huskies will face NJIT and Adelphi on the road in New Jersey and New York, respectively, on Saturday and Monday, before the conference tournament at Adelphi that week. The ASC does not hold an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, and HBU - still transitioning to full Division I status - could not accept a bid anyway, so the conference tournament title will be HBU's main goal.
Belmont (6-12-0) vs. Houston Baptist (6-7-1)
November 02, 2010 -- Sorrels Field, Houston TX
BEL -- Edgardo Padilla (Will Moorad, Bradley Shuck) 14
HBU -- Kristopher Tyrpak (Tanner Fyfe, Leonel Munoz) 29
HBU -- Leonel Munoz (Kristopher Tyrpak, John McDuffee) 33
BEL -- Brandon Tarr (Nico Olsak) 53
HBU -- Duke Ogega (Leonel Munoz, Andrew Collins) 73
HBU -- Leonel Munoz (Kristopher Tyrpak) 84
Belmont -- Wesley Wray (Juho Illi 46), Cody Stratton (Alex Davis 74), Charlie Dankert (Emerick Witkowski 45), T.J. Brown, Alex Jenison, Edgardo Padilla (Sam Miller 81), Bradley Shuck (Parker 81), Diego Figueroa, Nico Olsak, Brett Parker (Brandon Tarr 37), Will Moorad (Dan Meacock 46, Moorad 81).
Houston Baptist -- Chris Dodd (Zach Harwerth 90), Richard Ojeda, Walter Kromholz, Lorne Cameron (Daniel Flores 90), John McDuffee, Mateo Jimenez (Andrew Collins 28, Jimenez 90), Duke Ogega (Brian McDaniel 90), Tanner Fyfe, Kyle Herbison (Kyle Oehring 33), Kristopher Tyrpak, Leonel Munoz (Francisco Diaz 42, Munoz 46).
HBU -- Andrew Collins (caution) 48
BEL -- Nico Olsak (caution) 62
HBU -- John McDuffee (caution) 66
HBU -- Leonel Munoz (caution) 73
Referee: Greg Boles
Referee's Assistants: Hector Flores; Ricardo Hernandez
4th Official: Joel Pedroza
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial