Murray State College men’s soccer coach Shane Ross believes that his Aggies are one or two mental lapses away and one or two finishes from being a great team.
It’s just those finishes and mental lapses the Aggies need to correct.
The last two matches for the Aggies back up Ross’ words.
The Aggies lost 2-1 in overtime to Paris at Regional Park on Sunday, and on Friday, Murray State dropped a 3-2 double-overtime decision to Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa in Tonkawa.
In both matches, Murray State netted the first goal.
Aggies center Carlos Torres found the back of the net in the 50th minute for a 1-0 Aggies lead.
Paris’ Omar Khan answered five minutes later to tie the score.
The match later went into overtime.
Paris’ Lavrick Mulla booted the game-winner in the 92nd minute.
“We had one opportunity that didn’t come to fruition, and then we had a lapse in concentration when they scored their goal,” Ross said. “All of the goals that have been scored on us lately have been mental errors. When we score, we work hard for our goals.”
Murray State looked in command early against Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa.
Kyle Wisnewski set up Matt Wheeler and Maurice Aguehounde for goals in the first minute. Aguehounde’s accurate strike had the Aggies in front 2-0.
Murray State’s Wisnewski and Vincent Nestorov each were credited with two shots on goal.
The Aggies and Dragons each tallied seven shots on goal.
There was a flurry of activity around both nets during the first five minutes.
Tonkawa’s Irvin Ponce beat Alfonzo Gonzales twice in a span of three minutes, the second of which occurred at the 5:01 mark, tying the score at 2-all.
Neither team again found the back of the net, until the 93rd minute, when Ponce recorded his third goal of the game, completing the hat trick.
Murray State couldn’t overcome a four-goal, first half by Rose State’s Andrew De La Paz, in a 6-1 loss at Regional Park on Oct. 4. De La Paz scored all four of his tallies in the first 15 minutes.
Jarrett Wingfield added two insurance goals for Rose State during the second half. Murray State’s lone goal came via Carlos Torres in the 40th minute. Torres and Nesterov each had two shots on goal.
John Connor helped the Aggies to pick up a 1-0 win over Ranger at Regional Park on Sept. 28. Connor assisted on a goal by Evan Armor in the 60th minute.
Murray State goalie Jonathan Lopez stopped all five Ranger shots to backstop the Aggies to the shutout victory.
Hill College owned a 3-0 scoring advantage during the second half to break a 2-2 halftime tie and send Murray State to a 5-2 loss at Regional Park on Sept. 25.
Murray State twice answered goals by Hill’s Chris Escalera to even the score.
Escalera found the back of the net in the 12th minute and then again in the 34th minute.
Raul Trevino scored in the 16th minute for the Aggies.
Escalera put Hill up 2-1 in the 27th minute.
Seven minutes later, Jose Garcia answered with a tally of his own, knotting the score at 2-2.
Felix Charles put Hill ahead for good in the 53rd minute.
Escalara completed the hat trick six minutes later.
Micah Day netted Hill’s fifth goal in the 77th minute.
Murray State couldn’t overcome a five-goal deficit and a hat trick by Western Texas’ Jesus Cortez in a 5-1 loss at Regional Park on Sept. 19.
Joshua Clark accurately struck the ball into the net in the 85th minute for the Aggies’ lone tally. Wheeler assisted on Clark’s goal.
Injuries, at one point, had mounted for the Aggies.
Nesterov missed time with a torn hamstring. Connor, Joshua Clark and Matt Wheeler all missed action due to injury. An ankle injury had sidelined Armor. All five players are now fully healthy.
Murray State (4-8) returns to Regional Park next week, for contests against Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa (Oct. 19) and Eastern Oklahoma (Oct. 25). Both games commence at 4 p.m.
“At this point in the season, it’s not about if we win or lose, it’s about how we compete,” Ross said. “Losing those two overtime games shows that we’re on the verge of greatness. It will be exciting to see what we have been talking about to these guys and see them focused and ready to play.”