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Suleiman, Strong Defense Lift Men’s Soccer to 1-0 Road Win

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Marygrove men’s soccer moved to 3-1 in October and 4-1-1 in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play with a stingy 1-0 road win at Indiana Tech on Wednesday (Oct. 14). The Mustangs stymied the host Warriors (3-8-1, 0-5-1 WHAC) under the lights in the night match in Fort Wayne as keeper Ayman Youssef turned away the only shot he faced in the Mustangs 1-0 victory.

With the win in net, Youssef moved to 2-2-0 – both wins coming via shutout – while the Mustangs pushed forward to 7-5-1 overall. The Mustangs have only allowed two goals in the month of October and have outscored opponents, 11-2, while recording a pair of shutouts.

While defense was the story of the match, senior Khalid Suleiman (Tulkarm, Palestine/Madonna Univ.) provided all the scoring the Mustangs would need in the 39th minute when Haider Alzayadi’s corner curved into the box to set up the strike.

The Alzayadi (Simawa, Iraq/Wayne State Univ.) corner found the head of his fellow senior as Suleiman beat the Warriors’ keeper near post to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead near the end of the first half. The assist was Alzayadi’s fifth of the season as the senior midfielder now has one for each of the five matches he has appeared in this season.

Suleiman’s goal was the first of his senior campaign and his fourth overall in a Marygrove uniform since joining the program in 2013. The game-winner in the 1-0 victory, Suleiman was credited with his second game-deciding tally in 48 appearances overall with the Green and Gold.

Defense would rule the remainder of the first half as the Warriors only mustered one shot on target when Brennan Cochran tried to beat Youssef in the 25th minute. Youssef stopped the shot, the best and only Warrior advance on the night, as the Mustangs carried a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.

The Mustangs would put together another solid defensive effort in the second half as the backline of Ali El Habhab, Talal Hamodi, Ma Sambou Jatta, Jeff Okerstrom and a host of other Green and Gold defenders continued to shut down the opposition in the one-goal victory. The strong defense led to a great possession game as seventh-year head coach Matt Johnson and the Mustangs controlled the WHAC match from start-to-finish.

“Our defensive effort was outstanding tonight,” said Johnson. “It is never easy to win on the road, especially in this conference. Indiana Tech has a quality team, a team that will certainly make noise as the season progresses. We came out and controlled the game on the back end, which ultimately opened things up for us throughout the night. We now have to move on to a huge challenge ahead of us on Saturday against a well-known Aquinas squad.”

Shots ended decidedly in favor of the Mustangs, 16-5 overall and 7-1 on target. The Green and Gold also took home the advantage in corner kicks, 6-2.

The Mustangs visit Aquinas on Saturday (Oct. 17) at 3 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s WHAC Quarterfinal that led to a 2-0 Saints victory in Detroit. The Saints have ended the Mustangs season two years in a row. The Mustangs won the lone regular season matchup of the 2014 season, 2-0, in Detroit.

MEN’S SOCCER CONTACT: Tim Johnston | [email protected]/* */ | @tjohnston56
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Category: Men's Soccer

Today - 17 November 2018