Cedarville Opens Season With Overtime Thriller

by Abigail Hintz

Mark Rowan made the difference for the Cedarville men’s soccer team Saturday afternoon against Northwood University with a 107th-minute goal to put the Yellow Jackets up 2-1.

The Jackets dominated possession for the entirety of the game, putting up 19 shots and eight on goal. Brett Faro was pleased with his team’s performance, especially in the first half.

“Really happy with the guys to not give in and find a way to get a result in the end,” Faro said. “This early in the season that’s often what you’ve got to do.”

Cedarville opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a great run down the left side and a perfectly placed cross. Senior Ochoa Vazquez connected with his head, but it deflected to the feet of junior Andy Volk who hit it with pace and put it away.

Cedarville began to dominate the midfield after the goal. The midfield was creating lots of chances for the front line to get on the end of, with three shots compared to Northwood’s zero halfway through the first half.

Northwood’s first real chance of the game came in the 22nd minute and it forced goalkeeper Matthias Dewhurst to make a big stop to keep the Jackets ahead. Cedarville handled the follow-up attack cleanly and regained dominant possession.

The Jackets were held to one in the first half despite four shots and two corner kicks. They had the energy and the chances but were both unlucky and held down by the Northwood defense.

Northwood came out with a different energy of their own in the second half and broke through early. In the 48th minute Northwood defender got on the end of a corner kick to bring the Timberwolves level. The Jackets had given up back-to-back corner kicks and faced a flurry of chances from Northwood early in the half.

Cedarville forced two stops out of the Northwood goalkeeper early, but the Northwood goal gave the opposing side a boost in energy that shut down some channels for the Jackets.

Jake Johnson nearly made the difference for the Jackets in the 55th minute after a great offensive buildup. His rocket from outside the 18-yard box hit the crossbar and the offense was unable to pick up the rebound.

The Jackets continued to dominate offensively but were unable to get past the Northwood goalkeeper, who came up with six saves in the first 90 minutes. Cedarville had 14 shots and four corner kicks on top of their seven shots on goal.

Overtime seemed destined to end 1-1, until a flurry of chances in the box off a long throw-in for the Jackets ended with senior Mark Rowan bodying the ball the rest of the way to the back of the net to end sudden death overtime with three and a half minutes to spare.

Rowan was pumped to get his guys the three points to start out the season.

“Today, in a lot of ways, didn’t go how we wanted it to, but to come out with a win to start the season is really good,” Rowan said.

The Yellow Jackets take on the California University of Pennsylvania Falcons this Thursday on the road at 3 p.m.

Abigail Hintz is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-chief and Sports Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.

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