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#7 MSU rides hot start, blasts RiverHawks 3-0

Published: October 28, 2011
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - No. 7 Midwestern State struck early then held on for a convincing 3-0 result over Northeastern State Friday night at DeLoache Field. "We played a really good first half," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We came out and got a quick goal, but this time we didn''t let up. This inches us a little more away from the people chasing us. It was a good result." The Mustangs, who came into the week ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region rankings, improved to 11-3-1 by posting their fourth consecutive shutout. MSU needed overtime to dispatch the RiverHawks at home earlier this month after jumping to an early lead. Both times it was junior forward David Freeland providing the early punch on a through ball from Chris Dwyer. The duo combined in the 8th minute Friday night as Dwyer threaded a ball through the center of the field to Freeland, who beat NSU goalkeeper Jordan Ladbrooke to the right post for a 1-0 lead. Midwestern pushed the edge to 2-0 on Dean Lovegrove''s blast from 30 yards out. "The keeper had no chance. Dean just put his head down and drove it," Elder said. Northeastern State went to a more aggressive posture by inserting five into the midfield to attempt to rally in the second half. The RiverHawks managed to match MSU in shots at 10-10 taking a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks. "I thought we dominated the first half and got more chances," Elder said. "I thought they had a good second half, but we don''t give up 2-0 leads." Midwestern tacked a third goal off of a counter attack in the 84th minute with Zach Funk collecting the ball off of a Nathan Fitzgerald blast off of the crossbar. Senior goalkeeper Michael Wood made three saves to notch his fifth shutout of the season. The Mustangs close the regular season with a pair of home matches next weekend at the MSU Soccer Field beginning with Friday''s match against Eastern New Mexico. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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