NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A second-half clean sheet spurred by a key defensive adjustment moved Manchester University into the victory column Friday, Sept. 7.
Head coach Corey Brueggeman's team got locked into a high octane offensive clash off the opening whistle. They notched two goals as did visiting Baldwin-Wallace University of Ohio in less than 25 minutes. The score stayed that way into the middle stages of the second half when sophomore forward Josh Gonzalez (Portage, Ind.) broke through with two more scores, wrapping up his first career hat trick in route to a 4-2 victory to begin the 2018 Anderson University – Manchester University Raven-Spartan Classic.
"Our outside backs were getting caught in no man's land for a time," Brueggeman said about the early scoring flurry by the Yellow Jackets. "Those guys made the changes we talked about … being more patient and sitting deeper to win possession. (Sophomore defender) Mason (Cross of Goshen, Ind.) and (junior defensive teammate) Noah (Tong of Mason, Ohio) along with the rest of the group did a great job down the stretch."
"This was a win we needed against a quality Baldwin-Wallace team," he added. "It was good to see our attackers get involved on the scoresheet."
MU, improving to 1-2, held a large 25-8 advantage in shots, 15 of which were aimed at B-W's net. Gonzalez turned in 10 of them with eight being on frame.
Day two action in the Raven-Spartan Classic is set for Saturday, Sept. 8. The Spartans face off against Blackburn College of Illinois with a 3 p.m. kickoff at Good Field.