HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Despite Scott Murray’s hat-trick, the HU men’s soccer team couldn’t seal the deal as they suffered a 4-3 double OT loss to the Blue Devils of Lawrence Tech Monday afternoon at King Stadium.
It was a few minutes of chaotic play during which both teams had several scoring opportunities but couldn’t capitalize before Murray took matters into his own hands for what looked to be the makings of a blowout.
After getting hauled down in the box in the 12th minute, Murray scored on a penalty kick to give his team a 1-0 advantage. Fifteen minutes later he made it 2-0 when Brooks Gerke sent him in on a through ball where he slotted it past Lawrence Tech keeper Josh Lance.
With momentum clearly favoring the hosts, the Foresters watched their lead crumble as two HU defensive blunders in a ten-minute span completely shifted the energy to the Blue Devils. Justin Ritchie scored on a breakaway in the 32nd minute and eight minutes later Austin Sanders capitalized on a loose ball in the box to quickly knot things up at 2-2 by intermission.
Ritchie scored his second goal of the day twenty minutes into the second period to give his team their first advantage of the day at 3-2. Not to be outdone, Murray struck again for his third goal, a strike upper 90 far post off a restart, with just over five minutes remaining in regulation to send the match to overtime where Tech scored in the 102nd minute on another botched defensively play.
“For as good as Murray was offensively in finishing for us, we were equally as sloppy defensively as a unit which ultimately cost us the match,” said Coach Lawson. “It was very disappointing to take a commanding lead and then give it up.”
Murray scored on three of his four shots to pace his team to 15 shots on the day, eight of which were on frame, to Lawrence Tech’s 16. James Couchman took the loss in goal. He finished with six saves.
Huntington (0-2) will head to Spring Arbor this weekend for the SAU Classic to face Olivet Nazarene on Friday and Concordia (Mich.) on Saturday. Both games are slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.