SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 14, 2013) -- After turning in perhaps the most impressive match of the season to date in a narrow 3-2 win over Georgia Gwinnett last Saturday (Sept. 7), the Golden Eagles will welcome an even bigger task to Alumni Field today at 4:00 p.m., No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
The Pioneers (4-2-1) were ranked No. 4 last week, but suffered a 1-0 defeat in Bartlesville, Okla., to the hands of Oklahoma Wesleyan, a team that handed JBU its first loss of the season back on Aug. 26.
MNU didn't play well against the Eagles as OKWU's goal came in the first half off of a nice combination of passes. The Pioneers were not dangerous in the first half and looked out of sorts, but the second half was a completely different story.
MidAmerica Nazarene was completely dominant in every phase of the game but they could not find the tying goal.
"The second half was very encouraging," said head coach Kevin Wardlaw. "OKWU is a solid team and they did a great job of sticking together to win the game. If we play like we did in the second half, there is reason for us to be optimistic."
Sophomore forward Lucas Machado paces the Pioneer offense. His three goals is a team-high as are his six points. Freshman striker Eddie Morales lands second on the team in points on the heels of two goals and an assist.
Junior keeper Christ Ericksson has started all seven matches for MNU and boasts a .690 goals against average and a 82.8 save percentage. He ranks No. 31, individually, in the nation in goals against per game while landing the No. 32 spot in total saves (24).
In the Golden Eagles' last matchup, John Brown dispatched Georgia Gwinnett in thrilling fashion as junior forward Ryan Duncan continued his torrid output, notching JBU's first and final tallies, helping the host squad battle back from a 2-1 halftime deficit.
The Golden Eagle offense has produced well as of late, especially the passing game. Currently, JBU ranks No. 17 in the nation in total assists (12) and No. 30 in total goals (13).
Duncan and junior midfield counterpart Martin Gonzalez each pace John Brown with three goals apiece. Sophomore midfielder Eli Simonsen is close behind with six points on a goal and four assists.
Senior netminder Pablo Garcia has played well as of late, allowing only three goals in two matches that John Brown went 1-1 in last weekend. He currently posts a 2.22 goals against average while knocking aside 61.5 percent of the shots fired his way.