WAYLAND SOCCER: Whittaker gets game-winner in overtime - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

WAYLAND SOCCER: Whittaker gets game-winner in overtime

Source: Wayland Baptist Athletics Source: Wayland Baptist Athletics

Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

What was looking like another tough loss for the Wayland Baptist men's soccer team turned into sweet victory against St. Thomas on Monday afternoon at Hilliard Field. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, goals from Taval Whittaker and Yago Xavier forced overtime before Whittaker drilled the game-winner less than two minutes into bonus time for a 3-2 Pioneer victory.

The Pioneers (3-3-1) started off the match trying to fight for possession of the ball. Unfortunately, the Celts (4-3-0) controlled the tempo and netted the first two goals of the game. The first came from Jorge Contreras in the 21st-minute, and the second from Irvinn Ramirez in the 39th-minute.

"We didn't' start the way we wanted to," Coach Cristhian Ospina said about his team's performance in the first half. "If we fix those mistakes we made, we can be really good."

The Pioneers were down but not out, and the Pioneers went on to play some of their best soccer of the season in the second half.

After being out-shot in the first half, 4-3, Wayland totaled 14 shots in the second half and overtime compared to six for the Celtcs.

With time dwindling down in regulation, Xavier launched a strike in the 76th-minute to get the Pioneers on the board. Two minutes later, Whittaker bolted a goal to take the game into overtime.

Just 98 seconds into the extra period, Whittaker scored his second goal of the game and third of the season, squeezing the ball right above the St. Thomas goalkeeper's out-stretched hands to give the Pioneers the come-from-behind win.

"I'm really happy we got the results we wanted"

In the midst of a seven-match home-stand, the Pioneers remain at home for their next outing Saturday against Paul Quinn College (2-3) at 7:30 p.m. in a match that follows a women's game at 5:30. It will be the Pioneers' first-ever matchup against the Tigers and their last outing before beginning Sooner Athletic Conference play.

"They're a new team to the Red-River Conference that plays really tough," Ospina said. "We have to match their intensity."

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