Milligan wraps up home schedule with 8-4 victory

By Marvin Birchfield

STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   It was the last home game for Milligan men's soccer team this season, and ended in sweet success as the Buffaloes overpowered Bethel in an 8-4 victory on Saturday.
   This game bid farewell to three of the seniors with Cory Hynek, Charlie Kleine and Paul Hobbs, who were making their last appearance in front of their home crowd.
   The Buffaloes were looking to get themselves back on track for the postseason, after having a dismal performance in the later part of the year.
   "I'm just proud of the young men that played today. They've been through a lot this season, and it was a well deserved victory," said Milligan head coach Marty Shirley.
   Milligan came out to score the first goal of the game, with Jason Hotchkin making the assist to Ali Mohamed for the score.
   Another assist came from Hotchin on the Buffaloes' second score, when he kicked the ball to Eric Star on the inside. Hotchin finished the game for Milligan with two assist and two goals.
   "Some games just seem to work out for you, and that's the funny thing about soccer, but we've been working toward the playoffs and we're excited about it," said Hotchin.
   The Buffaloes built a 3-0 lead with 27:14 left in the opening half, after a kick from Steven Townley bounced off the chest of Phillip Brock, then knocked through for the goal.
   After missing a shot wide to the right, Bethel came back to get its first score of the game with a kick coming from Varney Weeks.
   Two more scores came from the Buffaloes before the half ended, with the first coming off a head pass by Michael Ryals to Mohamed.
   Their last point was from Hotchin, who booted a hard shot with Jacob Gies on the defense and an assist from Joshua Elliot, making it 5-1 in favor of Milligan.
   "In the past couple of weeks, we have started jelling as a team, and you can tell from being out here the guys are excited about playing," said Hotchin.
   With the period winding down, Bethel came up with two quick scores with under five minutes to go to pull back within two goals.
   Josh Jackson made the first goal, when he caught goal-keeper Daniel Pavlin out of position.
   Then a kick from Weeks put the Wildcats back in the game, as the first half came to an end.
   "We had a couple of things going on there," Shirley said. "One was lack of communication, so we had to get that fixed to start the second half."
   It took nearly half of the second period before either team was able to add a score.
   The Buffaloes struck first, after an assist from Brock to Hotchin was executed for the goal.
   Bethel responded after Michael Hurley was called for tripping Josh Jackson from behind, which gave them a penalty kick with Souleymane Diallo making the conversion.
   "Defense was much better the second half, but unfortunately we had the penalty kick called down here, which I thought we had a couple that wasn't called," said Shirley.
   Brock upped his game in the final 10 minutes of the contest, once making a goal that was unassisted.
   "I was worried because I only had two, and the last game I had two, so I needed a hat trick," said Brock.
   The last score of the game also came from Brock, giving him a game-high total of three goals. The assist was delivered by Mohamed.
   "I missed that one on the breakaway and was really mad, so I had to get the last one or I wouldn't be calling my mom tonight," said Brock.