(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Five Montana State University Billings men’s soccer players found the back of the net Wednesday afternoon at Dakota Fields, as the Yellowjackets cruised past host South Dakota School of Mines 5-2 in non-conference action.
Paul Cuevas and Edgar Ramirez each had a goal and an assist in the one-sided affair, while Bryan Maxwell, Austin Shafer, and Jeremie Briquet each also found the net. Halil Yilmaz and Marvin Putu added assists, as four of the team’s five strikes came on direct passes within the box.
“Despite being down 1-0, we kept going and playing our style, and we slowly came back into the game,” said MSUB head coach Thomas Chameraud. “We scored three very nice goals. The important thing to mention is the role of the subs, who came onto the field and made an impact. Bryan, Paul, Jeremie, and Austin all were on the scoresheet, and it was a very good job for them to win the game for us.”
South Dakota Mines (1-3-1) received goals from Garrett Cole and Darik Dudley, but was out-shot 17-11 in the defeat. “It was important to win that last non-conference game so we can go into the break with a positive mindset,” said Chameraud. “Now we can prepare for a difficult game against SPU.”
The Yellowjackets (2-3-1) commanded possession from the opening whistle, as the Hardrockers sat back while the visitors moved the ball throughout the offensive third of the pitch over the opening 12 minutes of play. The Hardrockers struck first however, taking advantage of a rare spell of possession and pulling ahead 1-0 in the 13th minute on Cole’s strike from Philip Leano.
The Yellowjackets nearly pulled even in the 18th minute, when a close-range shot off the foot of Ramirez rattled off the crossbar. An ensuing header by Mathias Kjølner on a corner kick was tipped away by SDSMT goalkeeper Tyler Ring, as the hosts protected their early advantage.
Ramirez pulled the ‘Jackets even with 16 minutes to go before halftime, nodding home a tight-angle cross from Putu directly in front of the net to make it a 1-1 game.
Kjølner took advantage of a defensive miscue with 14 minutes left in the first half, embarking on a long run down the left side of the field. He created space against his final defender and got a strong, low shot off towards the far post, but Ring was there to knock it away with a sliding save.
Ramirez was on the giving end of the Yellowjackets’ second goal, finding himself in a similar position to where Putu was for his assist. Ramirez delivered a cross towards the back post from near the goal line, and Maxwell was all alone to blast home his first goal of the season to give MSUB the lead.
Cuevas got in on the action just before halftime, when Yilmaz cut back a pass from near the goal line towards the middle of the box. The senior curled a perfectly placed, left-footed strike into the side netting of the far post to make the score 3-1 in the 40th minute.
A red card issued to Yellowjacket goalkeeper Connor Trapp in the 49th minute slated the visitors down a player for the remainder of the match.
Ring came through with an important save with 16 minutes to go, deflecting a powerful strike by Yilmaz that was on frame at the near post.
MSUB’s fourth finish was generated in the midfield, when Briquet won the ball and punched a long pass into the attacking third. From there, Shafer took on a pair of defenders into the box, and finished a low, left-footed shot into the back of the net in the 80th minute.
Briquet capped the scoring five minutes later, blasting home a cross from Cuevas at the top of the goal box. Senior captain Luca Battistotti was the standout player on MSUB’s defensive unit, keeping the back line well-organized throughout a full 90-minute performance. “We stayed organized defensively, and didn’t let them create many chances,” Chameraud said. “We took some opportunities going forward with our speed, and we created the most chances in the second half. We put two away despite being one man down. The defense did a great job, and I don’t think the two goals we conceded reflects the performance we had defensively. It was a great performance by Luca and Oscar, and Paul coming in scoring and adding an assist did a good job as well.”
THE BUZZ: Cuevas was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…the goal was the second of Ramirez’s career…it was his first game with at least one goal and one assist…Maxwell’s goal was the fourth of his career…Connor Trapp and Jack Jarrett made their first collegiate starts…MSUB is now 8-0-1 all-time against South Dakota Mines and is 2-0-1 in road contests against the Hardrockers…it was the most goals scored by an MSUB team since a 5-1 win over Saint Martin’s on Oct. 10, 2019…it was the first time MSUB featured five different goal scorers in a single game since a 6-0 win over Colorado Christian on Sept. 7, 2018.
NEXT UP: The ‘Jackets have two weeks off to prepare for their 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener, which is scheduled for Oct. 2 at No. 11 Seattle Pacific University.