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FOOTBALL
MORRIS, Minn. – A Justin Masloski touchdown pass to Carter Geyer with 27 seconds left gave Minnesota Morris a 37-33 come-from-behind win Saturday over Crown in UMAC football action at Big Cat Stadium.

The win pushes the Cougars to 2-1 in conference play and the 37 points are the most for a Cougars squad since the team scored 41 in a win over Westminster two seasons ago.

The Cougars cracked the scoreboard first on their second possession of the game. Joseph Loija set the Cougars up in great field position after a 30-yard punt return to the Crown 36. On a 4th-and-8 from the CC 34, Masloski weaved his way through the Crown defense for a 33-yard rush to the 1. Two plays later, Masloski took it himself for a 7-0 UMM lead.

Crown countered with two touchdowns to take a 13-7 lead with 2:16 left in the first half.

Crown was looking to add to their lead before halftime, but Nathan Gehlen put a stop to that by producing a strip-sack of Crown quarterback Devin Westbrook that Marcos Luna recovered at the Crown 32. On the first play of the next drive, the Cougars used some trickery to regain the lead. Dustin Johnson took an end-around and threw to a wide open Branden Carlson for the 32-yard score. The extra point gave UMM a 14-13 lead going into the locker room.

On the second play of the second half, Crown’s Jared Gilmore connected with Anthony Laureno for a 69-yard touchdown to give the Storm a 19-14 lead. The Cougar defense regained the lead midway through the quarter. Deep in their own end, a snap went over the head of quarterback Devin Westbrook. The ball scooted to the right side of the end zone and Nikolas Pahno was still to smother it for the Cougar score and the 21-19 lead. Austin Vanderkooi later added a 23-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the quarter to give the Cougars a 24-19 lead heading into the fourth.

Both teams made big plays in an exciting fourth quarter. The first big play was made by Drew Shipley who intercepted a Westbrook pass at his own 46 and returned 16 yards to the Crown 38. Masloski connected with Noah Plumb for 13 yards on the first play of the drive. He later hit Geyer for a 17-yard reception down to the 5. Two plays later, Caleb Kemp took it in from two yards out to give UMM a 31-19 lead with 10:42 remaining.

Crown connected on a big play to cut into the Cougars’ lead. Westbrook hit Domonquie Guy for an 80-yard touchdown down the left sideline to make it 31-25 UMM with 7:39 left. Crown quickly capitalized on an interception to claim the lead. Westbrook connected with Guy again, this time from 19 yards out, to give the Storm a 33-31 edge with 4:20 remaining.

The Cougars would not back down though. Geyer returned the ensuing kickoff 25 yards to their own 46 to give the Cougars excellent field position. Masloski started the game-winning drive with completions of seven yards and 19 yards to Nathan Sheridan and JT Karis, respectively. Carlson followed with rushes of six and 18 yards to give UMM a 1st-and-goal from the 1. Two plays later, Masloski hit Geyer in the front right corner of the end zone for the 37-33 Cougar lead with 27 seconds left.

Pahno intercepted a final Storm effort in the waning seconds to secure the team’s second straight win.

Masloski threw for 162 yards. Carlson led the Cougars in receiving with four grabs for 52 yards.

Loija led a Cougar defense that forced five Crown turnovers with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. Shipley made six stops and recorded a sack to go along with his interception. Jacob Moeller recorded a sack and an interception.

Minnesota Morris (2-3, 2-1 in UMAC) plays at Northwestern next Saturday.

GOLF
BECKER – For the third straight season, the Minnesota Morris women’s golf team earned a runner-up finish at the UMAC Golf Championships that completed Saturday at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.

The Cougars team score of 1195 was 18 shots better than UW-Superior (1213) for second place. St. Scholastica won the team competition with a score of 1085.

Three Cougars placed among the top 15 golfers. Meghan Foley finished in a tie for 10th after posting a three-day score of 289. Payton Sierra finished a shot behind Foley with a 12th place total of 290. Kaya Quinn tied for 13th place with a three-round total of 301. Brynn Combs was just outside the top 15 with a 17th place performance of 315. Brittany Lormis carded a total score of 342.

St. Scholastica’s Hannah Johnson won medalist honors with a score of 259.

The Cougar men finished ninth at the Championships.

UW-Superior won the team championships after defeating Northwestern in a tiebreaker playoff. The two teams combined to shoot 927 through 54 holes. St. Scholastica came in third place with a 947. The Cougars shot a combined score of 1071.

Freshman Orion Collins played three steady rounds to pull off an 11th place performance. His rounds of 79, 80, and 81 totaled to a score of 240. Northwestern’s Michael Vowels won medalist honors with a 222.

Kyle Och came in 19th place with a total score of 248. Trent Jerome finished with a 264. Mitch Baumann carded a 325 and Kyle Hastings shot a 331.

WOMEN’S SOCCER
MANKATO, Minn. – Minnesota Morris jumped out to a multi-goal lead and would hold on for a 3-2 win Saturday over Bethany Lutheran in UMAC women’s soccer action in Mankato.

Three different Cougars scored on Saturday starting with Brooke Lorentz who tallied a goal in the 20th minute. Just before the half, Yu Ito doubled UMM’s lead to 2-0 with a goal in the 45th minute.

The Cougar lead was extended to three early in the second half as Sam Tate put UMM up 3-0 in the 49th minute. Madison Perry got Bethany Lutheran back in the contest with a pair of goals in the 57th and 74th minute to cut the Cougar lead to 3-2. They would get one shot at Cougar goalkeeper Bailey Tschida later on, but the chance was saved.

Tschida made eight saves in net for the Cougars. Minnesota Morris (4-7, 4-3 in UMAC) returns home to face Northwestern Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Cougar Soccer Field.

MEN’S SOCCER
MORRIS, Minn. – In cool, cloudy conditions Sunday, the Minnesota Morris men’s soccer team hosted a non-conference game with Saint John’s and fell, 3-0, at the Cougar Soccer Field.

The Johnnies would take an early lead on the Cougars as Ben Becker scored in the 11th minute. They would take that 1-0 lead into halftime.

Becker scored again in the 71st minute to extend the lead. SJU would add another in the 77th minute off the foot of Nathan Stone.

Matt Marshall came in after halftime and made eight saves in net for the Cougars.

Minnesota Morris (4-7-3) returns to UMAC play Wednesday when they host Northwestern at 1 p.m. at the Cougar Soccer Field.

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