The Eastern New Mexico University men's soccer team kept their undefeated season alive Saturday, despite all the odds being stacked against them with the loss of some key players, beating Dallas Baptist University 2-1 in double overtime.
With the win the greyhounds are now 3-0-1 on the season. Roberto Zatarain scored both goals for ENMU, and now leads the team with four goals on the season.
Zatarain said, "It's hard to find the words. Being down to nine men and still seeing the team work this hard, it's really tough to find the right words for it. We never gave up and just get battling until the final seconds."
The first period of the match saw the Greyhounds dominate the ball with 12 shots compared to the Patriots (2-2-1) one shot. Yet the good times would only last so long and with just over four minutes remaining an ENMU starter was given his second yellow card of the game, resulting in a ejection and a serious blow to the Greyhounds.
Head coach Paul Tate said, "It was a tough game and our guys got a little sidetracked by the calls, getting frustrated. It was hard to get into a flow for both teams."
After finishing the first period with the score still tied at 0-0, ENMU played for 12 minutes down a man until the Patriots lost a starter of their own to ejection, evening each team to 10 men on the field.
Zatarain scored his first goal off a Ryan Sinclair assist, giving ENMU a 1-0 lead with 28 minutes reaming in the match. The lead would be short lived though, as a foul in the box gave the Patriots' Riley Alvey a penalty kick which he would turn into his fifth score of the season.
Tied at 1-1 ENMU was struck another major blow, losing yet another starter to an ejection in the 79th minute of action. Now the already shorthanded Greyhounds were down to only nine players.
After holding off a frantic assault from the patriots, ENMU managed to keep the game tied and moved into their first overtime. After much back and forth play, the teams moved into their second and final overtime.
"To be honest I just wanted our guys to keep the ball and make the other team keep chasing us to get them tired," said Tate. "In the end, our guys just kept playing for each other and it worked out."
Two minutes into overtime a foul called near the Patriots box allowed Sinclair to set up another amazing pass to Gino Battiato, who crossed the ball to the Greyhounds leading scorer Zatarain for the final score to end the match.
"It's my last year and it's my goal to go undefeated," said Zatarain. "It's great right now, just a great feeling."
James Gutierrez ended the match with one save. The greyhounds outshot their opponents 24-6.
ENMU will travel to Lubbock, Texas, Wednesday to take on Lubbock Christian University at 12:00 p.m. (MT).