Men’s soccer: Winkler delivers game winner in overtime

Oilers defeat Saginaw Valley in golden goal scenario 

By Kevin Schrock

When a soccer match comes down to a sudden death scenario in overtime, it quickly becomes a situation where both teams must play mistake-free. Fortunately for the Findlay Oilers last Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals did not do that, opening the door for what would be a game winning goal off the foot of Keegan Winkler.

With the game tied at two in the third minute of overtime, Saginaw Valley’s Omar Sinclair got hit with a red card. The penalty gave the Oilers a free kick and set the stage for Winkler, even though he was not doing the kicking. The original free kick was sent toward Cardinal keeper Connor Keane but he couldn’t secure it. With the ball bouncing in front of the goal, it was Winkler who punched it into the back of the net for the win.

The game appeared to be a lock early on for the Oilers who came in with just a 1-3 record. They scored early on after delivering on a corner kick. Michael Shaikly booted the ball in front of the goal where junior Bailey Crawford was waiting to head the ball into the back of the net.

Shaikly decided to do it himself later in the half when he managed to get a one-on-one with the keeper. He drilled the ball just to Keane’s left for another Oiler goal and 30 minutes into the game it was 2-0 Oilers. However, that lead would be short lived.

With the Cardinal defense quickly going into lockdown mode and shutting the Oilers down the rest of the way, it gave them an opportunity to come back. Saginaw cut the lead in half when they got a goal later in the first period. At the halftime break the score stood at 2-1.

In the early stages of the second half the Cardinals tied the game up at two. After forcing a corner kick, it was Saginaw’s Troy Watson rising above the defense to knock in a header. That would be the end of the scoring though for the Cardinals.

Saginaw Valley was relentless; tallying six yellow cards in the second half, while the Oilers only had one. It would be those penalties that cost the Cardinals in the end. Stefan Tomasevic got hit with a red card in the 82nd minute, putting the Oilers a man-up for the rest of the match. Finally, after the Sinclair red card later in overtime, Winkler and the Oilers took advantage.

The win marked the first conference win for the Oilers in the 2016 season and advanced their record to 2-3.

Four days later the Oilers hosted the undefeated Tiffin Dragons and were shutout 4-0. With their record now standing at 2-4 the Oilers look to rebound on Sunday at DeHaven Field where they battle Northern Michigan in another Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup.

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