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DETROIT — Mario Morana and Oneil Robinson were on the attack, combining for four goals and an assist to help lift Marygrove men’s soccer past Siena Heights, 5-3, on Wednesday (Oct. 21) in Detroit. The Mustangs scored early and often to produce the team’s second highest scoring effort of the season while the defense fought off a pair of converted Saints’ penalty kicks in the weekday WHAC matchup.
The five-goal effort elevated the Mustangs into a third-place tie with Saturday’s conference opponent, Cornerstone, at 16 points in league action. The Mustangs now hold a record of 8-6-1 overall and 5-2-1 in the WHAC in advance of this weekend’s contest.
The Saints fell to 6-6-2 overall and 1-5-2 in the league with the two-goal setback in Detroit.
Sophomore midfielder Andriy Pelekh (Lviv, Ukraine/Salem High School) kicked off the Mustangs’ five-goal day 17-seconds into the match after the Saints’ keeper muffed a clearance. The failed clearance paved the path for Pelekh to tuck in an easy opening goal before anyone broke a sweat as the Mustangs took the early advantage.
Pelekh’s tally was followed minutes later as Morana (Sterling Heights, Mich./Macomb CC) sent a free-kick laser into the back of the netting for his first of two goals on the afternoon. Morana’s free-kick blast beat the Saints’ keeper upper-90 to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead.
The Saints were able to draw even before the half despite the early deficit, tallying goals in the 42nd and 44th minutes to knot the match at two goals each. The second Saints goal was a product of Mustangs’ hand-ball in the box, resulting in a penalty kick that would be converted.
Determined to untie the match, senior forward [Oneil] Robinson dribbled past the Saints defense with a scoring strike in the 45th minute to give the Mustangs the lead once again, 3-2. Robinson’s goal would hold as the late tally of the half as the teams went into the break a goal apart. Â
After a back-and-forth defensive battle, Robinson tucked in his second goal of the contest in the 72nd minute off of a finely-played through ball from Moussa Diallo (Conakry, Guinea/Fordson High School). Robinson’s goal â the Mustangs fourth of the contest â would stand as the game-winning tally.
One minute later, Robinson took advantage of a 2v1 situation, finding Morana across the box for the Mustangs fifth and final goal of the match. The goal was Morana’s second of the contest as he and Robinson finished off a combined nine-point effort for seventh-year head coach Matt Johnson and the Mustangs.
The Saints would convert another penalty kick â the second such scoring effort for the visitors in the match â in the 86th minute after a tough call in the box. The penalty kick conversion brought the conference tilt to its 5-3 final score in favor of the host Mustangs.
Starting keeper Austin Valentine (Westland, Mich./Concordia-Ann Arbor) improved to 6-3-1 in net for the Mustangs, allowing only one goal outside of the Saints’ pair of penalty kicks.
The Mustangs outshot the Saints, 13-9, while holding the corner kicks advantage, 7-4.
Defensively, Ma Sambou Jatta (Brufut, The Gambia/Schoolcraft College) and the back half for the Green and Gold put forth another solid effort as a grand total of 17 Mustangs saw action in the conference win. The Mustangs’ 5-3 win came without the team’s top two scorers, Abdoulie Jallow and Gbenga Ayanwale, as the pair sat out the league match.
OVERHEARD AFTER THE MATCH
“Today’s match provided a great opportunity for guys to step up since we were missing three key pieces in Abdoulie, Gbenga and Gonzalo Caceres,” said the Mustangs’ head coach after the match. “Our work-rate and ability to put the Saints under pressure was the key to the match. Looking ahead, we are excited to match up with Cornerstone in what looks like a pivotal match with plenty of playoff implications.”
The Mustangs will host Senior Day 2015 on Saturday (Oct. 24) opposite Cornerstone in a battle for sole possession of third place in the WHAC. First kick is set for 3 p.m. from the Marygrove Soccer Field with live video coverage on the Mustang Sports Network slated to begin at 2:45 p.m.
MEN’S SOCCERÂ CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected]/* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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Category: Men's Soccer