The men's soccer team took a hard-fought 0-1 defeat at home against Oral Roberts University, Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Having played a strong game of possession and finding four more shots than the ORU Golden Eagles, the Bears gave up the 0-0 draw score in the 80th minute from a corner set piece.
As to why the Bears conceded the goal, Coach Ross Duncan said, "they executed their set pieces and we didn't. Very simple."
However, Duncan believed that his team should have seen more outcome from their play.
"We didn't take enough risks with the ball. We were naive in our ball movement and didn't force our opponent to defend in their box enough...We competed well and adapted to our new system of play, but we didn't create nearly enough scoring opportunities."
Although the game did not end in the result he wanted, Duncan found positive aspects in his side's game.
"We defended well and put pressure on our opponent, which allowed us to play in their end and create attacking possessions."
For tactics being played out on the pitch, Junior Defender Bradyn Knutson gave insight as to what could have been better in their gameplay.
"From a player's perspective, the team as a unit needs to play more and get forward quicker with the ball," Knutson said. "I think that was kind of our game plan going into the game; working a kind of pressure system to get the ball and once we had it, we kind of eased off and slowed down a little bit in our build up to attack."
Aside from other things he said could have been better, Knutson went on to say that the team's new system of play went well, and he sees positives to take away from the experience of losing the match.
"I think having that experience in that game really helped us, and I think when we go back and look over it, we'll be able to find out what slowed us down and what didn't work as well as other stuff…"
With the team being early on in the season, Knutson also said the team is very diverse, with skilled players ranging from Europe to Asia and back to the United States, so the team's chemistry is still being built.
For his outlook on the match and the following match, he said, "It was definitely kind of tough to swallow, especially when you feel like you were the better team, which I feel like in any match, no matter who we play against,...I always feel like our team has a side up just because the confidence I have in the guys around me and the level of talent and the commitment to each other that we have is one of our mottos that we instilled in all of us.
It's just knowing that at the end of the day, the guy next to you is going to take care of you, he's going to have your back and he's always going to be there.
For this, especially as a team and how close we are as a team, it was really tough. You always want to start out with a bang. A win at home would definitely be big and definitely feel good, but at the end of the day we look back and yeah, it's a loss but when you lose like that, it's kind of like a learning experience."
Knutson said now that the team has a chip on its shoulder from the first game, they are looking to prove something and redeem themselves at the following match.
As for Coach Duncan and his perspective of the loss and the following match, he said, "Every defeat is tough to swallow. We knew we deserved more from this, but that's not how it works. We bounce back by getting right back to work and not letting this shift our focus."