The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s soccer team lost a tough non-conference match at Roosevelt University (Ill.) 4-1 Friday night. The Cougars fell behind early and couldn’t rebound from the early deficit.

“The game was decided in the first ten minutes and the last ten minutes,” MVNU Head Coach Andrew Belleman said. “Our guys have to understand that the little things make a big difference and we were not as focused as we should be on those kinds of plays and moments during the game. Overall we played well, but to get a result against a good team you have to take care of the little things and not make silly mistakes and we did that tonight. We will have to start better tomorrow if we want it to be different.”

MVNU (2-1-0) had to play catchup when Roosevelt (1-1-1) took advantage of a Cougar foul in the box. Jose Garcia was called upon to attempt a penalty kick and connected on his first score of the season in the second minute. Midway through the first half, the Lakers increased the gap to 2-0 on another Garcia goal. Oscar Gaytan and Omar Guzman provided assists on the play.

The Cougars kept battling and cut their deficit in half in the 37th minute when Noah Larson (FR/Xenia, Ohio) tucked the ball into the back of the net for his second goal this season. Preston Spurrier (SR/Cleveland, Ohio) slipped a perfect back heel pass to Larson who kicked it in just inside the left post.

Unfortunately, MVNU couldn’t generate any further offense the rest of the night. Roosevelt added two insurance goals late in the second half. Josh Ponce notched a goal in the 80th minute and then in the 88th minute Jesus Marquez scored to cap the contest.

Larson led the Cougars with four shots and had the only goal of the match. Spurrier took one shot and was credited with the assist on the Larson goal. MVNU was outshot by the Lakers 10-8, but held the edge in corner kicks 3-1. Adam Miller (SO/Galena, Ohio) suffered the loss in net after allowing the four goals while making three saves.

Garcia had four shots and two goals for the Lakers followed Ponce with two shots and one goal. Jesus Velasco earned the win in net with three saves and only one goal allowed.