By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Dalton's Taynor's (Troy/Miami East) second goal of the match sent Bluffton to its first Heartland Conference win of the season when the sophomore found the back of the net in minute 107 for the 3-2 victory! The Beavers improved to 6-10 overall and 1-5 in the HCAC, while MSJ slipped to 3-13 and 1-5 in the conference.
Taynor took a feed from Christian Zapata (Livonia, MI/Adlai E. Stevenson) and Hunter Coffey (Wapakoneta) to secure the first goal of the match and give the Beavers and early 1-0 lead at the 16:14 mark. MSJ answered back with a goal of their own to tie the game at 1-1 going into the half.
The Lions' Will Cissell netted the first shot of the second stanza to give MSJ a 2-1 lead. In the 79th minute, Patrick Spillman (Anderson, IN/Frankton) took a feed from Zapata for a Beaver goal to tie the match 2-2 and send it into overtime. A strong defensive presence from both teams kept the first overtime scoreless. With just over three minutes left in the second extra session, a wind-aided pass from Elijah Grieser (Wauseon/Pettisville) allowed Taynor to find the back of the net again, securing the 3-2 victory.
MSJ put up 30 shots, compared to Bluffton's 21. The Lions also forced three more corner kicks (5-2) but were whistled for two fewer fouls (17-15). Freshman keeper Tanner Newport (Hamilton, VA/Loudoun Valley) walked away with nine saves for his sixth victory of the season.
Bluffton will head south down Interstate 75 for a meeting with Heartland Conference-leading Transylvania on Saturday, Oct. 26. The men are slated for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff following the women's 1 p.m. matchup with the Pioneers in Lexington, Ky.