Hillcats Hold Off Cavaliers, 3-2
CLAREMORE, Okla. – As Rogers State recognized four seniors prior to Friday evening’s game it was the Hillcats defensive play late in the contest that held off St. Gregory’s 3-2.
Stephen Cummins fired a shot just under the crossbar and just over the left shoulder of Hillcat keeper Nate Inger to put the Cavaliers up1-0 in the opening six minutes of play.
RSU didn’t wait long to score the equalizer, as Necas Collins volleyed a Steven Baker header just over the goalkeeper’s head two minutes later knotting the game at 1-1.
Sophomore Garron Hayes followed suit six minutes later as the defender came up for a Niall Masterson free kick and spotted the ball into the back of the net off his knee to give the Cats a 2-1 advantage.
Three minutes prior to the intermission Baker found the goal himself this time off a Mohammed Shaban cross into the box that the Tulsa Union (Okla.) product first timed into the back of the net for the game winning goal. The play developed off Masterson finding the feet of Shaban who changed sides of the field with the cross to Baker. The goal for Baker was his first of the season and put RSU in the lead 3-1 at the half.
Cummins found the back of the net delivering another strike this time backside, upper 90 past the Hillcats goalkeeper to trim the lead to just one for RSU in the 69th minute.
Over the final 21 minutes RSU held off the Cavaliers limiting SGU to just six shots. The most dramatic coming off the foot of Cummins as the Hillcats senior keeper Inger made a diving save to his left with just 13 minutes left in the game.
Inger tallied six saves as the Cavaliers outshot RSU 18-10 in the game. Brock Vorwald allowed two saves in 90 minutes of play at goalkeeper for SGU (5-11, 1-7).
With three games remaining on the Sooner Athletic Conference schedule the win for RSU kept the Hillcats in second place for the time being. The victory pushed the Cats record to 3-1-3 this October with the lone loss to first-place USAO.
Rogers State (8-6-3, 4-1-3) must await the conclusion of conference play Saturday to learn its fate and opponent for the opening round of the SAC Tournament.