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Cougars host Crossroads League quarterfinals

The MVNU men’s soccer team (12-3-3) picked up a tie and a win this week, drawing against Grace College 2-2 in double overtime and beating Bethel College 3-1.

The Cougars’ match against Grace saw freshman Tim Kasparek put MVNU on top in the 35th minute of play. Dominic Harris of the Lancers tied it up for Grace 33 minutes later.

In the 78th minute of play, senior Enrique Salazar put the Cougars on top, only for Harris to answer again for Grace with just two minutes left in the game.

Both overtime periods were scoreless, resulting in MVNU’s third tie of the season. Players had mixed emotions about the tie.

“I’m happy with the way our season has gone so far, but we have to learn how to finish games well,” senior Taylor Dyson said.

The Cougars ended their regular season with a 3-1 win over Bethel College. The Pilots finished conference play leading the Crossroads League.

Dyson put the Cougars on top with a goal in the 16th minute. Just 30 seconds later, Ian Billin of Bethel College answered, tying the game at 1-1.

The Cougars and Pilots were both scoreless for the remainder of the first half.

Ten minutes into the second half, freshman Connor Davis gave the Cougars their second lead of the game. Kasparek secured the Cougars’ 12th victory of the season with a goal in the 89th minute of play.

MVNU will host Indiana Wesleyan University in the Crossroads League Tournament quarterfinals at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Cougars beat the Wildcats 2-1 in the regular season.

“They played us very tough,” Salazar said. “Indiana Wesleyan is a good team. Their record may not show it, but they are good, and it will be a close game that we will have to work very hard in.”

In what the Cougars expect to be a scrappy game, the team looks to neutralize the Wildcats with aggression of their own.

“We will have to play hard to beat Indiana Wesleyan,” Salazar said.

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