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Strong second half highlights season opener

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University managed an 18-13 shots advantage in its 2013 season opener Saturday, Aug. 31, but a three-goal first half outburst from visiting Concordia University of Illinois was the difference.

The Cougars of the Northern Collegiate Athletic Conference scored just over seven minutes in and then added two more goals in the 29th and 43rd minutes of the opening frame, part of a 9-5 shots edge. Coach Dave Good's squad came out rejuvenated to begin the second half, peppering the opponents' end with 13 shot attempts.

MU was able to avoid the shutout when junior midfielder Zac Hansen (Muskegon, Mich.) lofted a well-placed cross into the Concordia goalkeeper's box in the 62nd minute. Sophomore defender/midfielder Drew Vergonet (Elkhart, Ind.) took the pass and hammered it into the back of the net for a 3-1 score. After a brief lightning delay held the match up in the 63rd minute, MU continued to attack in the final 26-plus minutes, but the Concordia defense thwarted each opportunity.

Hansen's four shot attempts led the Spartans. Vergonet, senior midfielder Connor Seavers (Auburn, Ind.), sophomore forward Julio Luevano (Aguascalientes, Mexico) and junior defender Mark Zinser (Guilford, Ind.) each contributed a pair of shots.

The Black and Gold resume their current three-match home stand Friday, Sept. 6, when Principia College of Illinois visits for a 5 p.m. kickoff.