Harding Men's Soccer rallies to defeat Williams Baptist, 2-1

From Harding University

Harding men's soccer rallied from a one-goal deficit to defeat Williams Baptist 2-1 on a rain-soaked field Thursday in non-conference action. The victory came in the head coaching debut for Harding's Odie Guzman.

With the game tied 1-1 and just under seven minutes left in regulation, Harding senior Jackson Savage took a feed from junior Ryan Wilhelm and scored the game-winning goal. It was his second career goal, both of them game-winners.

Savage, a native of Coppell, Texas, had three assists in Harding's 6-0 victory over Williams Baptist last season.

Williams Baptist (0-1), a member of the NAIA American Midwest Conference, took the lead just under seven minutes into the game on a Logan Austin goal that turned out to be the Eagles' only shot on goal in the game.

Just minutes after the goal, Harding starting goalkeeper Will Lynn went down with an injury and was replaced by freshman Chase Keeney. He played the rest of the game and faced only two shots, neither on goal.

Williams Baptist carried the lead into halftime despite being outshot 7-1.

Harding (1-0) continued its assault on the Williams Baptist goal in the second half and reaped the benefits in the 60th minute when Wilhelm scored his sixth career goal to tie the game.

The Bisons held a 21-3 shot advantage and improved to 9-1 in 10 all-time meetings with the Eagles. Harding and Williams Baptist played for just the third time in Walnut Ridge with the Bisons winning each time.

Harding has now won its last two season openers. The Bisons defeated Lynn University, who played for the NCAA Division II national championship, 1-0 in Searcy to open the 2011 season.

Harding's next action is Saturday in Searcy against John Brown. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Harding Soccer Field.