Siloam Springs, Ark. (September 26, 2006) - Faced with their second double-overtime situation in as many matches, the John Brown Golden Eagles held strong on defense to force a 0-0 draw with 16th-ranked Oklahoma Christian Tuesday in Siloam Springs. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Wall earned the shutout with 16 saves for John Brown.
Oklahoma Christian (8-0-1, 4-0-1 SAC) threatened to score throughout the match, but when John Brown’s back line did not stop the attacks, Wall, who had 9 saves in the overtime loss to Oklahoma Baptist Saturday, stepped up repeatedly to make saves. Junior defender Alison Boster and senior midfielder Kendra Rehner made notable efforts against the speedy Oklahoma Christian front line, though John Brown head coach Joe Thoma credited each player on the team for making defensive contributions at various times.
John Brown’s offensive struggles can be attributed to nagging injuries that have forced the Golden Eagles to switch to a more conservative scheme. “We’ve got to play for the one goal,” Thoma said. “We’re playing good tackle ball now, when in past seasons we’ve just beaten teams by outscoring them.” The Golden Eagles are 1-7-1 overall and 1-3-1 in Sooner Athletic Conference play, but one senses that the team is on the verge of breaking through. “It’s a confidence thing; it’s a mindset,” Thoma commented. “We’ve got a chance to end the first half of the conference season even.”
Wall’s 16 saves give her 74 for the season, an average of 8.2 per match. “Natalie was the best goalie in the world today,” Thoma remarked.
The Golden Eagles travel Saturday to St. Gregory’s (Okla.) for a 1:00 match.