Editor’s note: This is a release from MSU Billings Sports Information.
BILLINGS, Mont. – Ignacio Crespo’s 73rd minute fast break goal ignited Montana State University Billings men’s soccer to a 1-0 victory over Northwest Nazarene University in ice-cold competition Saturday night at Herb Klindt Field. Entering the final stretch of Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, Crespo’s clutch tiebreaker helped MSUB maintain a tie for second place with Simon Fraser in the standings, though they remain six points shy of league leader Western Washington.
“I felt our first half was good defensively,” commented MSUB head coach Thomas Chameraud. “We didn’t let them create too many chances. On the other end we made opportunities but couldn’t finish. Our offensive players worked really hard to defend and because of that hard work, we have been earning clean sheets. Defensively, I thought we were very strong today. We closed the gap between the lines well and made sure to keep an eye on Jake Levine, their striker because we know he can find the back of the net.”
The Yellowjackets allowed just one NNU shot on goal through 90-minutes to Grant Larson, and held NNU’s top offensive threat, Jake Levine to a single shot attempt. Goalkeeper Jessy Martin earned his conference leading fifth clean sheet. Defenders Luca Battistotti, Samuele Folla, and Andrew Rivera played every minute to help Martin preserve the shutout.
Ignacio Crespo scored after a series of nifty one-touch passes coming in on a fast break. Andres Perez started the play on the left side and as he crossed into the offensive half, he played a give-and-go to Theo Lamare, then went across for Crespo who finished. NNU goalkeeper Alex Nadermann made six saves to hold MSUB off the board to much of the game, including a one-on-one two-hand block against Lamare in the second half.
“Our subs had an impact today with Nacho (Crespo) scoring and Andres (Perez) being at the beginning of the play and at the end,” Chameraud said. “We missed that in our last couple games at home so I was glad to see that our subs are bringing their level up because it will be important toward the end of the season.”
MSU Billings received notable bench contributions from Crespo as well as Pascal Pisarek (45 minutes), Paul Cuevas (one shot on goal), and Yaniss Aka (24 minutes). MSUB outshot the Nighthawks 8-3 in the first half, then 3-2 in the second. The ‘Jackets also earned four corner kick opportunities compared to two for NNU.
The game was originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Yellowjacket Field but was delayed and moved to Rocky Mountain College campus due to hazardous snow conditions.
“I want to thank Rocky Mountain College and athletic director Jeff Malby for letting us play on their field today,” said Chameraud. “This was a game we really needed to play in the conference and the staff really helped us get the game in after all the snow in the morning. I also wanted to thank the NNU coaching staff and players for adapting to the situation and working with us to find a solution.”
UP NEXT: The Yellowjackets (7-5-2, 4-2-1 GNAC) continue their five-game homestand Thursday, October 31 at 12:30 p.m. when they host Concordia University at Yellowjacket Field.
THE BUZZ: Ignacio Crespo was named St. Vincent Healthcare player of the game.
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