The Master’s University men’s soccer team did not need overtime Friday because Dylan Bielanski and a strong all-around performance from the Mustang midfield made sure of it.
Bielanski scored two goals in a game for the second time this season, and the Mustangs limited the Golden Eagles’ ability to find an offensive rhythm in a 3-0 Master’s win. It was TMU’s second shutout of the year and the first time in six games the Mustangs avoided at least one extra period.
Bielanski, for one, was relieved.
“It’s been hot, over 100 degrees out here,” the senior forward said. “So an extra 20 minutes in those overtime games doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot. We were happy to get the win in regulation.”
Master’s reached double overtime in four of its first five matches of 2019. It needed only one extra period on Aug. 31 when Luis Garcia Sosa knocked in a free kick to lift the Mustangs to a 1-0 win over Kansas Wesleyan. Still, Garcia Sosa’s heroics didn’t come until the 99th minute.
The Mustangs scored much earlier Friday.
One minute after Brayden Campos opened the day’s scoring in the 15th minute, Campos slotted a pass to Bielanski inside the penalty area and Bielanski wasted no time pounding it into the net.
The offensive surge put the Mustangs in unfamiliar, but certainly welcomed, territory: protecting a sizeable lead.
“Coach was talking about getting ahead early,” Bielanski said. “Brayden gave us a nice goal in the beginning, and I capitalized a couple of minutes afterward. Those goals kind of separated us. I ended up tapping one in in the second half that put La Sierra on its toes.”
Bielanski’s second goal came in the 47th minute from point-blank range off a cross from Steve Banda. The output matched Bielanski’s performance on Sept. 4 when he scored twice against Eastern Oregon.
For Banda, the assist was part of a strong effort from the Mustang midfield. Coach Jim Rickard was especially pleased with the way Banda, Cameron Molyneux and Garcia Sosa defended and moved the ball.
“That can dictate possession and chances,” Rickard said. “La Sierra had the better of us in the midfield the first 20 and turning that around helped us a lot.”
Sophomore goalie Price Anderson recorded the fourth shutout of his career, making four saves in the process. The Mustangs will be home again Thursday at 4 p.m. against Marymount California University, which received votes in the most recent NAIA Top 25. The game is part of a trio of contests that will serve a very specific purpose.
“We have three more games to try and work out the kinks before conference begins,” Rickard said.
— Game Recap By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director