Ordinarily, a 1-1 tie in a top 15 battle would be a positive outcome. But on Wednesday night, the Hastings College men’s soccer team was disappointed with the result.
Of course there were positives to take from the match, but this was a game the Broncos felt they should have won. Instead, the seventh-ranked Broncos tied No. 13 Baker (Kan.) 1-1 at Lloyd Wilson Field. Hastings head coach Tim Bohnenkamp believes his team being unsatisfied with the result proves they players have high expectations for this season.
“The beauty of this team right now is we’re really disappointed, and we just tied a good Baker team. That’s a really good team, and we tied them, and you look at it, and all of our guys are disappointed. We’re going to go forward and use this as motivation,” Bohnenkamp said. “I thought we had the ability to put them away in the first half, and we didn’t take our chances. The second half was just a battle of two really good teams.”
Getting on the scoreboard initially was no problem for Hastings College. Adding on to that lead, however, was something HC struggled to do.
In just the fifth minute, the Broncos drew a free kick from near midfield. Callum Watson launched the ball into the box, where Fernando Lisboa sent it to the back of the net for the first score of the match.
“Our mindset is that any team that comes in here knows it’s going to be a dangerous game, in terms of we want to put pressure on them right away,” the coach said. “We want them to struggle early and be like, ‘Wow, (playing) at Hastings is going to be a difficult 90 minutes.’ And we did that.”
With a 1-0 lead, Hastings has plenty of chances to tack on more goals. The Broncos peppered seven more shots the rest of the half, three of which were on goal, and had five corner chances. But nothing found the back of the net.
“Unfortunately, we had the chances, but we couldn’t find (goals) number two and number three. We had them, but we just couldn’t do it,” Bohnenkamp said.
As the first half wound down, the action on the field became more balanced. And in the second half, the tide had completely flipped, as it was Baker that dominated the shots category, 7-2.
In the 64th minute, the Wildcats found the equalizer, much to the displeasure of the home crowd. A foul in the box put Jordan Alonge in position to tie the match with a penalty kick. He calmly buried it and knotted the score at 1-all with just 26 minutes remaining.
Hastings College had two shots at reclaiming the lead but couldn’t convert on either attempt. The Bronco defense came up clutch late in the second half, saving three shots — one by goalkeeper Jesus Parra — in the final 8 minutes.
Bohnenkamp said Baker did a good job of dictating the tempo of the second half, turning it into more of a physical match.
“Honestly, as a coach, I didn’t want it to get to that kind of a way, but the game just kind of finds its way,” the coach said. “It took until after they scored to really settle down and start moving the ball. We got back to our rhythm. To be fair, they knocked us out of our rhythm, and it took us a long time to find it.
“We have to identify that and calm it down and get the ball back on the ground, that’s when we’re really dangerous. No team will be able to run with us. Once we get the ball on the ground and move it, we’ll be a very dangerous team that no team wants to play.”
The two teams combined for five shots in overtime. HC’s Tom Steging had the only strike on target, but Baker goalkeeper Lorenzo Giaretti stopped it for his fifth save of the night.
After a scoreless first overtime period, the second didn’t even feature a shot from either team, as the two squads grinded out a draw.
The goal for Lisboa was his first of the season, as he becomes the eighth different Bronco to find the back of the net in five games.
Hastings College has 10 days before its next competition. The Broncos travel to Yankton, S.D., to take on Mount Marty College in their conference opener. Hastings has not lost a Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season game since Oct. 2, 2013.
Despite Wednesday’s draw, Bohnenkamp likes what he’s seen from his team thus far. But he knows there’s still plenty of work to be done to reach the goals HC has for itself.
“Going forward, we’re going to use this as a motivating factor and making sure when we play teams and we get the first one, we have to get number two and number three. We have to have that mentality to finish games off early,” Bohnenkamp said.