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Northeastern State rallies for draw at MSU

Article Written by Trey Reed
Published: October 7, 2012

WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- No. 24 Midwestern State just couldn't hang on for a win on its home turf for the second time this season.

Northeastern State rallied for a pair of Juan Peralta goals to come away with a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.

"We just have to mature," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We did some good things at times but we just let them back in the game."

Midwestern showed plenty of good in the opening sprinting out to a two-goal lead while leaning on the solid play of strikers Len Smith and VcMor Eligwe.

"We out possessed them and handled the ball all day long," Elder said. "We were able to get behind them throughout the match but couldn't always finish our chance. It's disappointing."

Smith knocked in his sixth goal of the season off of a header resulting form Andrew Power's free kick from just outside of the box in the 17th minute to give MSU a 1-0 lead before Eligwe volleyed in a goal off of a great cross from Aaron Douthit in the 41st minute.

The lead appeared to be enough as the Mustangs dominated the run of play controlling a 22-11 in the shots column with an 11-5 edge in shots on goal.

But the RiverHawks (7-3-1) gained momentum over the final 15 minutes of regulation with Peralta's equalizing tallies coming just three minutes apart in the 76th and 79th minutes.

"I knew when they scored (the first goal)  that we didn't have the leadership or the mental toughness (to hang on)," Elder said. "We were playing an athletic team and had it won. We let them back in it. We have to shore up some defensive areas."

The Mustangs were unable to convert a pair of golden opportunities in the overtime periods.

Smith's header toward an open net off of a cross by Eligwe bounded straight down off of the post in the first overtime and Eligwe was tackled in the box by NSU's Terence Smith resulting in a penalty kick in the second OT.

But Power drove the ball off squarely off of the left post leaving the Mustangs with their third draw of the season.

Midwestern (6-1-3) plays host to NAIA Houston-Victoria Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

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