The men’s soccer team concluded its conference slate on Tuesday, Oct. 27, with a 1-1 tie against Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The draw, which moved the Bisons’ conference record to 2-3-1, ensured a third place finish in the Great American Conference (GAC), and the No. 3 seed for the GAC Tournament.
The tie followed a 5-1 defeat on Oct. 20 at the hands of non-conference opponent Central Baptist College. The Bisons led 1-0 early after a goal by junior midfielder Jackson Buchanan but quickly surrendered momentum to the Mustangs, who netted back-to-back goals before halftime.
According to senior midfielder Chris Walker, the team relaxed after taking the early lead.
“When we put the first goal in we kind of got cocky and thought it was over,” Walker said. “They put two in pretty quick, the momentum drastically shifted and we could never really regain it.”
Head coach Odie Guzman agreed that the team let up after the early goal and lost control of the middle of the field.
“I think we let them back into the game, didn’t press on the gas and felt a little complacent,” Guzman said. “The key is controlling our midfield, and the last couple of games we have completely lost control of that.”
According to Guzman, despite the non-conference loss, the team remains positive as they gear up for the upcoming GAC Tournament, hosted by OBU in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, starting Nov. 6.
“I believe we can win it,” Guzman said. “We’ve played each of these teams close, and it’s a pretty even conference.”
Guzman’s team took regular season conference champion OBU to double-overtime twice this season and did not lose a GAC matchup by more than one goal.
According to Walker, the senior class, which includes defender Curtis Hunt and midfielder Josiah Ireland, is looking forward to one last shot at a GAC title.
“It’s been a blast to go through (this program) with those two,” Walker said. “We have so many memories of our four years playing here and after all the work we’ve put in to take the program in the right direction, winning (the tournament title) would be a great way to finish.”
The team travels to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, on Oct. 30 for its final non-conference game against Williams Baptist College.