Hutton Powers Buffs to 1-0 Shutout Victory Over Colorado Mines in Rainy Season Opener
CANYON, Texas – The West Texas A&M men’s soccer team opened up its 2014 campaign at home with a hard fought victory in poor conditions, prevailing over Colorado School of Mines, 1-0. Seniors Christopher Hutton and Michael Williams connected on a second-half goal to give the Buffs the advantage and eventual win. Hutton tapped in the score in the 69th minute to start the team off 1-0 on the year as the program improves to 19-4-1 all-time in season openers. With the loss, the Orediggers fall to 0-1 on the year.
“It means absolutely everything to come out here tonight and get a big win and have a good performance,” said Hutton. “The whole team worked really hard tonight so it’s great to go out on top. It’s a really special moment. I think defensively we looked really good. I feel like we can really take this play to another level and I look forward to what the rest of the season brings.”
“I’m really excited for Chris tonight,” added head coach Butch Lauffer. “He stepped up tonight as a senior and we expected that after having a great preseason. Lately, he seems to have a real knack for scoring some big goals on the field.”
Sophomore Patrick Satorie made an impressive debut as the Buffs’ goalkeeper despite wind and rain throughout his full 90 minutes between the pipes. He starts his career off with a 1-0 record after earning the shutout victory with five saves.
“I think we really got away with one tonight,” noted Satorie. “Those last 10 minutes we were under the caution so it feels really good to get out of here with a win. It’s unbelievable to have a victory like this in my debut so I’m very excited right now.”
The Buffs lined up with two newcomers in the starting lineup in freshman Axel Insulander playing up top and junior transfer Johnny Oliver in the midfield. The backline consisted of 2013 regulars sophomore Thomas Vickers and seniors Daniel Angloher and Williams while sophomore Ryan Kennedy took over the fourth spot. Along with Hutton and Oliver in the midfield were sophomore Christian Suthers, junior Austin Henderson, and senior Vitor Cardoso.
The Orediggers, wearing bright orange on the pitch tonight, pressured early in tonight’s match as they grabbed quick corner kick opportunities. But the Buffs were the first to put a mark on the shot chart nearly 15 minutes into the match. Senior defender Daniel Angloher managed to get the first shot off of the game and sent his attempt high of the net at the 14:40 mark. Just under a minute later, Insulander nearly put the Buffs on top as he caught a rebound in the middle of the box with CSM keeper Collin Hall outside the range of the net. He forced the ball dead center in the direction of the goal but was stopped by the foot of an Oredigger defender.
Soon after, around the 16-minute mark, Hutton nearly placed a high strike in the net off a Henderson corner kick but the shot curved just above the crossbar and out of play. The Orediggers responded with a few good chances on the other end in the ensuing six minutes of play but sent each wide of the mark. Satorie picked up his first career save in the 24th minute as he scooped up a ball sent from the top of the box by Joe Haines. Haines had another good look at the 24:11 mark but Satorie stepped up for the Buffs again on the goal line.
Both squads would get another good look on the goal before the 40th minute as Williams sent a strike for the Buffs into the arms of Hall while Haines sunk another attempt above the top corner of the left post.
The teams made their way into the locker room at the break still scoreless as WT edged out CSM in shots, 8-7, during the first frame of action.
WT stepped on the gas again to begin the second half. In the opening five minutes of the frame, freshman Harry Osborne took three corner kicks for the Buffs leading to two shot opportunities for Oliver. Then in the 63rd minute, CSM responded with another scoring opportunity but Satorie knocked away the high shot attempt.
“Pat did really well I thought in his first start tonight,” added Lauffer. “There is definitely a lot of things he did tonight that I think we can build on to set him up in a good spot going forward this year.”
At the 68:03 mark, Hutton found the net to give the Buffs the 1-0 advantage. Williams took a pass just inside the Buffs’ attacking side of the midfield and weaved into the middle of the box before sneaking in a pass to his open teammate trailing towards the right post. Hutton made the run and sunk the scoring ball just above Hall’s left shoulder. The goal and assist were the fourth in Hutton’s and Williams’s careers, respectively.
In the 76th minute, Henderson came inches away from grabbing an insurance goal as he took a pass near the left wing and drilled a shot into the top half of the crossbar.
Satorie picked up two more saves in the 83rd and 84th minutes as he stopped two desperation shots from the Orediggers from outside the top of the box. CSM continued to pressure in the final minutes as it picked up two corner kicks near the 86-minute mark. They would only manage one more shot before the final horn but the chance was cleared away by two WT defenders.
The Buffs were edged out in both shots, 12-14, and shots-on-goal, 4-5; however, they pressured consistently with many attempts within inches of the net and seized the opportunity to take the lead when it counted.
Hutton led the way for WT on the shot chart with four total and two on target. Oliver had two on the day while six other Buffs forced one each. CSM was led by Haines who finished the night with six attempts.
Hall took the loss tonight as he played the full 90 minutes with two saves on the stat sheet. The Orediggers also held the advantage in corner kicks, 9-6. Both teams finished the night with 13 fouls each.
Also with the win, WT takes the lead in the all-time series with CSM, 7-6-1.
“Considering the conditions, this team played really hard tonight,” said Lauffer. “We did miss some big chances in the first half where we could have gotten a little cushion. But these guys definitely defended well despite the weather tonight. I expected that we would have to use a lot of players considering where we are in this process but they all stepped up really well.”
WT will return to action on Sunday, Sept. 7, as it hosts Texas A&M-International at The Pitch in Canyon, Texas. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. The Buffs are 5-1-2 all-time against the Dustdevils and own a 3-0-1 advantage on home turf. They were victorious in their last meeting, a 2-0 victory in Canyon on Sept. 21, 2013. Live stats and video will be provided by the West Texas A&M Athletic Media Relations department. Links can be found on www.GoBuffsGo.com via the men’s soccer schedule page.