Maybe the rust was too hard to scrape off following a 10-day rest. Maybe Bethesda was really that good.
Whatever the maybes may have been, one thing was for certain: 110 minutes was not enough time for The Master’s University and Bethesda University to put any points on the board in a scoreless, double-overtime draw between the two clubs Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
Playing for the first time since September 6, the Mustangs came out firing, getting off five shots in the first 19 minutes of play, including a couple that Flames’ goalie Renan Silva made saves on.
In a first half that featured only three shots on goal, Mustang keeper Casey Phillips safely corralled Bethesda’s lone attempt with 43 seconds left in the opening stanza.
The second 45 minutes featured a plethora of shots as the Mustangs took aim eight times while the Flames had 10. However, Silva and Phillips were both up to the task as the former recorded three saves in the period while the latter registered four.
TMU’s Trevor Mangan just missed with a header 7:26 into the second half while Dylan Bielanski and Leonardo Anjos put shots on goal that Silva turned away.
Meanwhile, Phillips notched half of his second-period saves in the final 6:14 of regulation. One of those two came with 32 seconds remaining that sent the game into overtime.
Once in extra play, the Mustangs dominated on the offensive side of the field, putting up five shots in the first 10-minute period and four more over the final 10 minutes.
Silva made a save on a Justin Okeora shot at 95:36 and then in the second overtime, he stopped a Benjamin Tembo shot at 108:03 before getting some help from the post 36 seconds later on a Matt Logan header that just missed on the final scoring opportunity of the afternoon.
The Mustangs wound up outshooting the Flames 23-13, including a 7-6 advantage on shots on goal.
The tie wasn’t something Mustang head coach Jim Rickard reveled in. The 27th-year mentor said: “In the end I was disappointed to tie but it was a hard-fought game on both sides. We struggled to finish our chances but the post wasn’t our friend today, either.4 p.m. That happens in soccer and in the end, I was proud of everyone’s effort.”
Maybe Rickard and his Mustangs can see the effort as suitable preparation for GSAC play that commences Thursday. Sept. 21, when the Mustangs welcome defending conference tournament champion Menlo to Reese Field. Game time is 4 p.m.