Fulton, MO, 9/18/2021 – Adam Galla's Westminster College men's soccer team came into their SLIAC opener looking to get into the win column for the first time this year. The young Blue Jays were showing signs of a breakthrough as they rallied late for a 2-2 draw their last time out. Barrett Smith (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) saw to it personally to get the Blue Jays going early with two first half goals and the Jays would blow past the Greenville University Panthers 4-2. The Blue Jays improved to 1-3-1 overall and 1-0 in SLIAC play. The Panthers drop to 3-4-0 overall and 1-1-0 in the SLIAC.
Freshman midfielder Niklas Olsson (Kansas City, MO / Liberty) got the scoring started with his first career collegiate goal off of a nice assist from senior forward Bukuru Dieudone (Columbia, MO / Hickman). Greenville would then strike back in the 28th minute with a goal to tie the score at 1-1. Senior defender Barrett Smith struck for a goal on a free kick from about 25 yards out that snuck just over the Panther keepers' hands and just under the cross bar for a 2-1 Blue Jay lead in the 30th minute. In the 32nd minute a Greenville defender tackled a Blue Jay in the box and a penalty kick was awarded. Coach Galla called on the senior Smith to take the shot and he buried it for his second goal and the Blue Jays would carry a 3-1 lead into halftime.
The Blue Jays came out in the second half looking to put the Panthers away. In the 46th minute the Blue Jays would get a good push to the goal and Freddy Nene (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) was there to play the ball across the net so that sophomore midfielder could tuck in the first goal of his career inside the far post for a 4-1 lead. Greenville would add a goal with 1.5 seconds to play for the final score of 4-2 in favor of Westminster.
The Blue Jays would be outshot by the Panthers 17-9 but the Blue Jays capitalized on their opportunities. Greenville also held the advantage in corner kicks 9-1. Blue Jay keeper Connor Benefield recorded eight saves today while picking up the win in goal. Head coach Adam Galla had this to say about his teams win, "Big result here tonight. Always nice to start conference on the right foot. We defended really well and did a good job of capitalizing on their mistakes."
The Blue Jays will look to keep things going when they travel to Fontbonne University on Tuesday September 21, 2021 for a 6:00 p.m. kick off.