Weather and darkness contribute to Hound soccer draw

By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico

Darkness was setting in, and both teams were trying to sneak in a goal.

Neither did, so Eastern New Mexico University and Missouri Southern settled for a scoreless tie in a weather-shortened Southwest Soccer Conference match at the ENMU pitch.

For the Lions (0-6-1, 0-1-1 SSC), the tie provided a bit of a lift.

“It was a good result for us,” Southern coach Kiley Cirillo said. “It’s been a tough year for us.”

ENMU coach Harold Munoz, whose team was beginning conference play, wasn’t quite as satisfied.

“Today, you can consider this as two points dropped,” he said, referring to the fact that a conference win is good for three points while a tie earns only one.

The teams battled on fairly even terms through the first half, at which point lightning in the area resulted in a delay that lasted about an hour and 10 minutes. Play resumed shortly after 6:30 p.m., and the teams managed to get in about 35 minutes before it was called due to darkness.

“Both teams had great opportunities,” Cirillo said. “It was just an even battle; it could’ve gone either way.

“I felt like we had some good things going toward halftime. Keeping (the players) focused on the bus (while waiting out the delay) is tough.”

ENMU (1-1-2, 0-0-1) had some solid thrusts in the second half, but Lions goalkeeper Jon Hansen made several quality saves to turn them away.

“Their goalie did a great job; he made some nice saves,” Munoz said. “Even in the first half, we played mostly in their end. Generally speaking, we were able to dictate the pace of play.”

The Hounds finish a season-opening five game homestand with a noon conference tilt on Sunday against Northeastern State.