Greg Stratton jumps to block the ball

Sophomore Greg Stratton attempts to block a UCA player's pass. The men's soccer team lost 1-0 to Central Arkansas on Nov. 3.

The Missouri State and Central Arkansas men’s soccer teams faced off in Springfield for the regular season finale with conference title implications.

Central Arkansas scored with 8 minutes remaining in the second half to take a 1-0 lead. The game had been a stalemate at times and also action packed with near-misses by both squads down the stretch.

The match turned physical from the opening whistle, with both teams laying knockdowns left and right — the referees let the boys duke it out for most of the match.

Central Arkansas accumulated 13 penalties throughout the match, and Missouri State racked up 5, but both teams realistically should have had many more.

Since Central Arkansas defeated Missouri State, they took the outright Missouri Valley Conference title for the regular season.

Missouri State entered the night 2-1-2 in Valley play and needed a win to grab a slice of the regular season championship.

Missouri State had 3 very prime opportunities to score on breakaways and possessions in the box, but the Central Arkansas keeper made two good saves and MSU forward Josh Dolling barely missed a shot in the box.

With five minutes remaining, MSU had three consecutive corner kicks but were unable to put one in the net. With 30 seconds remaining, MSU had a free kick about 40 yards out, but the ball sailed over the offensive players and the game ended.

The Bears ended the regular season 8-2-5, with this being their only home loss of the season. They finished fourth in the MVC.

Missouri State will play on Wednesday, Nov. 7, for the first round of the MVC Championship.

I cover Men's Soccer, Cross Country, Swim & Dive, and Men's Golf.

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