Broncos Continue Winning Ways This Spring
The Broncos began the day with a match against in-state rival Detroit and found themselves 1-0 up in the 28th minute through Omar Jaroun. Some neat play between the increasingly impressive Brian Heimerdinger and Oliver Mayer presented Jaroun with the chance to go 1 v 1 with the Detroit goalkeeper and he took full advantage to notch his second goal in consecutive games.
WMU would hold the lead until the last minute of play before the visitors found an equalizer. Adam Bedell's long throw into the Bronco box was not held by keeper Sean Lewis and Patrick Soltys bundled home from close range to force penalty kicks.
Lewis would make amends for his error during the shootout saving from Jess Ginez which allowed Darren Jones to score the winning kick to make it 7-6 and give the hosts the important three points.
"I was very happy with how we played against Detroit, we looked sharp on the ball and passed it around well," said Bronco head coach Stu Riddle. "We created a lot of good chances which was pleasing but we were disappointed again to leak a late goal but that happens when you don't put good teams away."
The visiting NAIA Notre Dame Falcons entered the day on the back end of a 19-0 season in 2011 and extended their winning streak to 20 games with a 2-1 victory over Detroit in the day's second game.
That set up a winner-takes-all final match between the Broncos and the Falcons and it was an encounter that had all the feeling of a regular season game. For the second week in a row Yllson Asani made a big impression as a make-shift striker heading home Darren Jones' wide free kick in the 21st minute for the only goal of the game as the Broncos held the 1-0 score line.
"I thought Notre Dame College was excellent today and they proved to be exactly what we expected in a very difficult opponent," commented Riddle. "I'm obviously happy with our results but I think more importantly all three teams here today put on a great event for the fans and we saw some terrific soccer."
During the shortened Spring season, teams are allowed five competition dates against other collegiate programs, as well as one competition date against an international team.
Next up for the Broncos is two 70-minute away match-ups in South Bend, Ind., against the University of Notre Dame (1 p.m.) and DePaul (3 p.m.) on April 1. The Broncos will then round out their Spring season with a 90-minute home match against Michigan State on Friday, April 7.
Riddle is excited for what lays ahead for his team, "We've seen some really good individual performances from our players so far and with three games remaining this Spring against extremely high-profile teams the challenge will be for our standards and level of competition to remain high as we look to continue our good run of form."