The first of three weekend Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheaders on the Good Field pitch this season is on the schedule Saturday, Oct. 6.
Match details: The women's contest gets underway at 1 p.m. with the men's meeting set for a 3:30 p.m. start … Live statistics and video are accessible via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.
Spartan Shorts: Women – Senior netminder Caroline Smith (Mason, Ohio) remains among the HCAC first five in saves, as her 88 rank second. Classmate Maranda Birmingham's (Kouts, Ind.) four goals (T-12th) and 25 total shots (T-15th) aren't far from the best 10 … Senior goalkeeper Cami Holford (Valparaiso, Ind.) and a game MU defense kept the visiting Spartans within arm's length throughout a good share of a clash at rival Anderson University Oct. 3. Holford, who's late afternoon at AU Soccer Stadium featured her third straight double-figure save effort, knocked away 12 home team shot on goal tries, as the Black and Gold were locked in a scoreless tie with their hosts all the way into the final 27 minutes. The match outcome came down to a three-point effort from Ravens' freshman forward Emily Albert who notched a goal and dished off an assist during a three-goal attack down the stretch to send Anderson to a 3-0 decision. The forward/midfielder duo of Birmingham and freshman Jessica Hudnall (Noblesville, Ind.) again led the Spartans offense. Birmingham rattled off five shot attempts, while Hudnall added two, one of which was sent away near the home net. Junior midfielder Katie Green (Chesterton, Ind.) tallied the remaining shot which was also on goal.
Men - Trailing the league rival Ravens 1-0 early in the second half of a critical conference clash at Good Field, Brueggeman was looking for a power source. No, he wasn't searching for an outlet, a power strip or even an off and on switch around the grounds of the Spartan Soccer Complex Oct. 3. "Energy was what we talked about (at halftime) … a spark from the guys on the field," Brueggeman noted. "(Energy) had to be there in pressing and winning the ball, even in second chances. The way the wind was today was crazy, so an extra step was required (from everyone) to stop (Anderson University) from getting too far forward. We knew they were a good team, and this match could have gone either way." After a scoreless first 45 minutes in which senior goalkeeper Justin Meredith (Shelbyville, Ind.) and his counterpart, AU's Adam Mrzlak, were forced to make sharp saves to keep things level, each side's offensive output was turned up to 10 in the second half. The visitors struck in the 46th minute, but the electricity Brueggeman and his staff hoped for came roaring in over the final 27 minutes. Senior forward Jared Wondergem (Hudsonville, Mich.), sophomore forward Josh Gonzalez (Portage, Ind.) and senior forward Drake DeWitt (Columbia City, Ind.) all blasted shots past Mrzlak, with Gonzalez' being the eventual winner, during a much needed 3-1 league victory … Gonzalez continues to be among the HCAC's statistical offensive leaders. He's second in goals (six), third in assists (four) as DeWitt is tied for the category lead (five), his 16 points are only two shot of the top spot, and his 31 shots are fourth-best. Meredith, who registered four saves in the midweek victory, is also in the same range, sitting third in saves (51).
On The Horizon: MU faces off against Franklin College Wednesday, Oct. 10. The women host the Grizzlies in a 3:30 p.m. start in North Manchester, while the men travel to FC for a 7:30 p.m. primetime kickoff.