MSUB Men's Soccer Shutout Streak Reaches Four Games - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

MSUB Men's Soccer Shutout Streak Reaches Four Games

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BILLINGS, Mont. – Five different players scored six total goals for the Montana State University Billings men’s soccer team on Monday, as the Yellowjackets rolled to their fourth straight shutout victory with a 6-0 result over the University of Mary at Yellowjacket Field.

Ricardo Palomino scored two of those goals, and assisted on another to record five points in the match. Julian Toenges had a goal and an assist, and Ian Bream, Guillaume Kremer, and JD Hauenstein each scored for the ‘Jackets as well.

The fourth win in-a-row for MSUB pushed the team’s record to 4-2 overall, as the ‘Jackets closed the non-conference portion of their schedule with 360 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal. Mary lost its fourth straight game, falling to 4-4 after starting the year with four straight wins.

“I am very happy with this team performance, and the defense was very strong, playing hard in the back,” said MSUB head coach Alex Balog. “We created quite a bit in the offensive third of the field, and I’m very happy for the players who got on the stat sheet with goals and assists.”

Though MSUB out-shot Mary 12-1 in the opening period, the ‘Jackets managed just one goal in the first half. Palomino’s first strike of the match came on a cross from the left corner by Eli Williams, as the junior touched the ball over the goal line in front of an open net in the 21st minute.

The Marauders were dealt a blow less than a minute later, when a red card was issued and the team was forced to play with 10 players for the remainder of the match.

With 10 minutes to go in the first, Bream ran onto a cross from Julien Dragomir in the corner and nearly doubled MSUB’s lead. His effort in front of goal was pushed just wide of the far post however, as the Marauders dodged a bullet.

After winning four corner kicks in the first half and not surrendering any, the ‘Jackets came out of the break clicking offensively and scored their second goal within eight minutes. Palomino helped create the second score, combining on a give-and-go with Flavio Colasanti into the box. The Italian midfielder’s shot was saved by UM’s Ludvig Rhodin, but Bream chased down the rebound and finished a right-footed shot from a tricky angle towards the endline.

The ’Jackets continued to create chances offensively, but their third goal didn’t come until the 72nd minute. Distributing a ball out of the defensive third, Adam Hepburn found Garret Robinson with a long ball down the right sideline. The senior cut in towards the box, and threaded a pass to an open Toenges in the center for a goal into the lower-left corner of the net. “We got four wins in a row here at home going into conference play this week, and everything is starting to click,” Robinson said. “You just start to build that belief that you’re not going to get scored on, and every game we take pride in the fact that we’re a team that’s not easy to score on.”

Palomino got back to work four minutes later, handling a tough, high cross into the box and firing a side-volley into Rhodin’s gloves from close range. Kremer was waiting unguarded for the rebound, heading home his first goal of the season for MSUB into an empty net.

Another quick strike by the ‘Jackets in the closing five minutes of play helped the team reach its highest scoring total of the season, as Palomino took his own rebound off a blocked shot and punched it into the back of the net in the 87th minute. “Ricardo’s movement off the ball is getting better, he got two goals today, and it just seems at the moment that he is very tough to stop,” Balog commented on the junior striker. “He is getting his touches, and he’s creating opportunities for other people through his movement off the ball.”

With one minute to play, Hauenstein gathered in a pass from Toenges, took a touch, and ripped a sinking, 30-yard shot just inside the right goal post. “We feel really confident in our defensive line, we didn’t allow many shots on goal, and Joe did a great job in goal again today,” Toenges said. “We connected really well today (offensively) and it is getting better and better each game.”

Defensively, Joe Scott made one save in 82 minutes, and Caleb VanBlankenstein played the final eight in goal as the two combined for the shutout. Rhodin made six saves in the net for the Marauders, while facing 26 shots from MSUB’s relentless attack.

Palomino led all players and tied his personal best with nine shots in the game, placing three of them on target. Toenges finished the match with five shots, Bream had four off of the bench in 44 minutes, and Dragomir took three.

Five different players took one shot for Mary, with Jakob Olsson managing the only look on frame for the visitors.

THE BUZZ: Toenges was selected as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…the assist for Williams was the first of his career…VanBlankenstein made his collegiate debut in goal…since being out-scored 4-0 and opening the season 0-2, MSUB has out-scored opponents 13-0 in its four straight wins.

NEXT UP: Great Northwest Athletic Conference play begins on Thursday, as the Yellowjackets face a quick turnaround against Northwest Nazarene University in three days.