Duncan’s Goal, Holt’s Heroics Lead Golden Eagles Past No. 5 Oklahoma Welseyan
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 11, 2014) -- Senior striker Ryan Duncan netted a goal less than a minute into the second half while freshman netminder Adam Holt recorded four outstanding saves in the second half, helping John Brown (2-3-0) to a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan tonight at Alumni Field.
Having lost 5-2 to the Eagles in last season’s opener in Bartlesville, JBU was looking for some measure of redemption tonight in its first contest against a ranked opponent in 2014.
“I thought our team showed a lot of mental toughness tonight,” head coach Scott Marksberry said. “When you play OKWU, you have to be prepared for going long stretches without the ball. That can be mentally exhausting, but our boys showed a great deal of resolve and patience. It was a complete team effort tonight, and a win that we should be proud of.
“Adam put in the best performance of his young career tonight. Now we need to get our legs back, and prepare for a very different style of play on Tuesday than what we saw tonight.”
Holt (2-3-0) earned his first-career shutout by collecting four saves in the second stanza. All four required a flash of acrobatics, including his first in the 56th minute, when he tipped an Ivan Ristic direct kick over the crossbar. The 82nd minute saw another point-blank save when Holt dove to his right to deflect a Khesanio Hall header attempt from six yards away.
With regulation time ticking to a close, Holt had to preserve his first-ever clean sheet one last time in the 87th minute when a loose ball made its way to the top of the 18. Aleksander Simovic unleashed a shot destined for the top left corner, but once again, Holt jetted to his right and deflected the ball harmlessly out of play.
While Wesleyan (5-2-0) out-shot the hosts 7-5 in the first half, the Golden Eagles used a 6-4 advantage in the first half as the teams finished the match tied at 11 apiece. OKWU held a narrow 5-3 edge in corner kicks.
Just moments into the second stanza, John Brown earned a corner kick that resulted from a long ball off the kick-off. Junior midfielder Eli Simonsen picked up his second assist of the season when his cross landed directly in the middle of the box and at the feet of Duncan. Duncan made no mistake, rifling a shot past a sprawled Luka Stojanovic, to give JBU a 1-0 lead in the 46th minute. It was Duncan’s second tally of the season.
John Brown had chances of its own to score in the first half. A Zeke Zumbro volley into the box, originally tipped by Stojanovic, fell at the feet of sophomore midfielder Guilherme Barbosa in the six yard box in the 15th minute. Barbosa’s attempted volley found the body of a sprawled Stojanovic, keeping the score deadlocked. Later, in the 42nd minute, Simonsen launched a bending shot from the right flank that took an awkward bounce, almost fooling Stojanovic.
Duncan came off the bench to lead his team with two shots on goal on three attempts. Sophomore striker Marco Cardona also added a pair of shots, as did Simonsen in the victory.
Wesleyan was led by Stefan Milicevic’s three shots and Daniel Cordeiro’s pair of attempts. Stojanovic (5-2-0) suffered the loss in goal, finishing with five saves on six shots sent his way.
The Golden Eagles will now rest for the weekend and resume play on Tuesday (Sept. 16) when it travels to NCAA II Rogers State (Okla.). Kick-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.