PELLA, Iowa -- Mason Madren scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute and the Simpson men's soccer team beat Central 3-2 in a wild American Rivers Conference opener on Saturday.
The Storm improved to 5-2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the American Rivers Conference, increasing their unbeaten streak to four games. The Dutch fell to 3-6 and 0-1 with the loss.
Simpson got out to a 2-0 lead before Central came back to tie the game 2-2 late in the second half. Madren connected on the game-winner less than a minute after Central's equalizer.
45' | Less than a minute before halftime, senior Jack Arndt fired a free kick off Central goalkeeper Sal Alado-Herrera and in for his first career goal. Simpson took the 2-0 lead into the locker room.
66' | The Storm held a comfortable lead until Taylor Petkovich put the Dutch on the board, cutting Simpson's lead in half.
80' | Central continued to apply the pressure on Simpson's back line, out-shooting Simpson 4-0 after the 66-minute mark until Landon Daniels made good on a penalty kick opportunity to tie the game 2-2.
81' | Less than a minute after Central stole the momentum, Simpson grabbed it back as Madren scored on an assist from Baraka Ellie to put the Storm back in front. Central attempted just one more shot the rest of the way.
Quotes from Coach Isaacson
"Our league is highly competitive from top to bottom. Every win is meaningful. Rivalry aside, we know the significance of winning this game and what that means for the league standings.
"We were encouraged to get scoring and production from multiple players in this game. Edward Idehen got his first collegiate goal, one that has been coming for several games now. Trevor Fuccio contributed with an assist from his center back position on a fantastic service into the box. Jack Arndt scored his first collegiate goal as a senior after 45-plus career starts on our back line. Perhaps most importantly, Mason Madren scored the game-winner late, a huge goal for a player that deserves credit for making a perfectly timed run into the box. It was a clutch goal by definition."
- Simpson has won three straight against Central, all coming by one goal.
- The goals by Idehen and Arndt were the first of their careers.
- The Storm improved to 6-2 in conference openers under head coach Rick Isaacson.
Simpson hosts Westminster (Mo.) in non-conference action Sunday at Buxton Stadium. Start time is set for 3 p.m.