Gonzalez's Strike Sends Golden Eagles to 2-1 Overtime Win
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 17, 2013) -- The Golden Eagles used late-game heroics yet again as junior midfielder Martin Gonzalez returned from injury and scored in the 106th minute of play, sending John Brown to a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory over Rogers State (Okla.) this evening at Alumni Field.
John Brown wouldn't have even had an opportunity for theatrics if it weren't for freshman defender Jordan Story's goal in the 85th minute of play.
"That was a good result today," said head coach Scott Marksberry, in reference to the victory over Rogers State. "RSU plays hard and they managed the game well when they had a lead. I have to give our guys a lot of credit for staying patient, keeping to our style of play and battling their way back into the game.
"Our back line was much more solid in the second half, which allowed Jordan to venture forward a number of times. We were glad to see him get his first goal at JBU! Hopefully there are many more to come."
Rogers State opened the scoring just 12 minutes into the match when a free kick from 35 yards out screamed over the Golden Eagle wall and deflected off the underside of the crossbar, beating senior keeper Pablo Garcia.
The first half remained fairly calm as both teams had opportunities to score as JBU out-shot the visitors 6-4 in the opening frame.
The second stanza became a bit more hectic for John Brown as the home squad pushed for the equalizing goal. Battling through two would-be penalty kicks, the Golden Eagles maintained its shot advantage, this time 9-7 in the second half.
In the 85th minute, John Brown finally earned the equalizer when an Eli Simonsen pass misfired but luckily landed at the feet of Ryan Duncan in the middle. Duncan quickly recognized a streaking Story up the left flank and played the ball into the feet of the oncoming defender. Story, heavily guarded by a Hillcat defender, did his best to make a play on the ball, sliding into a shot that forced the ball to trickle past RSU keeper, Mitchell Penton, to even the score at one apiece.
The Golden Eagles controlled much of overtime, notching five shots in the extra fame, in comparison to a lone shot from Rogers State. After the first 10-minute session failed to yield a winner, it took the Golden Eagles just over five more minutes to put the match away.
After a through ball to senior Luke Theimer failed, the ball was swatted back to Gonzalez, who decided to take matters into his own hands. Gonzalez jetted past three Hillcat defenders before unleashing a shot from the top of the box. Despite catching a small piece of an opponent's foot, the attack found the right side of the net, sending the Golden Eagles to a 2-1 victory.
Garcia finished the match with a single save to increase his record in 2013 to 4-3-0. Penton (0-1-0) took the loss in his first action of the season for Rogers State.
John Brown out-shot RSU by a 20-12 margin, sending six shots on target. Gonzalez paced the offense with six attempts, followed by five from sophomore striker Zari Prescod. Prescod and Theimer landed two shots on goal apiece.
With the victory, JBU moves to 4-3-0 in 2013 but won't have long to celebrate the thrilling victory. The Golden Eagles will travel to Atchison, Kan., on Saturday (Sept. 21) to face the No. 3 team in the nation, Benedictine. John Brown and the Ravens will face-off in a 7:30 p.m. tilt as the match will mark the second time in three matches that JBU will face a team ranked in the top-10 of the NAIA National Poll.