Luke Olney scored with just five seconds left in overtime, lifting Western Washington University to a 2-1 victory over South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday, Oct. 11, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s soccer contest at Sioux Park.
It was the third straight victory, all on the road, for the Vikings, who improved to 5-5-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the GNAC.
SD Mines fell to 1-10-0 overall and 0-7-0 in the GNAC.
The buildup for the winning goal started as the P.A. announcer was counting down the final 10 seconds. A long ball was headed down by Tye Hastings to Jeremy Wentzel, and Wentzel played a cross from the left that Olney was able to get to in traffic and finish from the goalmouth.
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“I was pleased with the way the guys battled through,” said WWU coach Greg Brisbon. “They learned that anything can happen at the end.”
The Vikings had a 29-17 advantage in shots for the game, and a 10-4 edge in the first half, but the Hardrockers scored first.
Michael McGraw notched the goal, heading in a pass from Jake Smith, giving SD Mines a lead in a GNAC match for just the second time in the two-year history of the program.
But WWU equalized in the 71st minute. Olney got behind the defense and cut a pass back for Chad Radulovich, who scored from near the top of the penalty area for his first collegiate goal.
The Vikings had a number of chances to win in regulation, but SD Mines goalkeeper Braeden Federle made five of his 13 saves in the final 19 minutes of the second half.
“I thought we played well tonight,” said Brisbon. “Our possession is getting better, we just weren’t good at finishing and their keeper made great saves.”
WWU returns home to host Saint Martin’s on Thursday, Oct. 16 (7 p.m.) and Seattle Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 18 (7 p.m.) at Harrington Field.