Nick Dingus, Sports Editor
The Oklahoma Baptist Men’s Soccer team kicked off a five-match home stand with contests versus Great American Conference foes Harding University on Thursday, October 12, and Ouachita Baptist University on Saturday, October 14. After traveling eight of their first ten games to kick off the year, the Bison are set to play host to all but one of their remaining games. Despite dominating the majority of both contests, OBU struggled to close out their opponents resulting in two tough conference losses.
“It was a really tough week for us,” junior Luis Romero said. “We played well, but didn’t get the results we were hoping for.”
The first contest against Harding University went the full 90 minutes and then some. Off a pass from junior Jonathan Martinez, Romero found the net for the Bison in the 54th minute for his fourth goal in two matches. However, Harding responded from a counterattack in the 73rd minute to draw the teams even. After regulation ended with score set at 1-1, the game was decided in the second period of overtime when Harding tucked the game away on a breakaway, ending the game 2-1.
“It was a heartbreaker,” sophomore Alejandro Castillo said. “It’s always a battle against Harding. We really wanted that game.” With that loss, the Bison are now on a four-match losing streak against Harding dating back to last season. “We will see them again in the post-season tournament,” Castillo said. “We will be ready.”
The Harding-OBU matchup has all the feelings of a new rivalry in the Great American Conference, three of the last four matches have been decided by overtime. After 107 minutes of soccer on Thursday, the Bison looked to bounce back against GAC opponents Ouachita Baptist University on Saturday afternoon. After dominating the match for the opening 15 minutes, the Bison would concede the only goal of the match off a counterattack in the 22nd minute. From then on, the Bison controlled much of the game, but struggled to find the back of the net. The match would go on to end 1-0. The Bison recorded 19 shots, however only 5 five were on frame.
“It was another frustrating loss,” Romero said. “We had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t find a goal.”
With the loss, the Bison fell to 2-3 in GAC play. Oklahoma Baptist takes a break from GAC play next week with two non-conference matches. The Bison will return to action on Thursday, October 19 as they host Upper Iowa.