Brannan, Garcia Lead JBU in 3-1 Victory over MidAmerica Nazarene
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 15, 2012) — Despite a rain-soaked field at Alumni Field, John Brown received two goals from Whitney Brannan and another strike from Laura Garcia en route to a 3-1 victory over MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) in Siloam Springs this afternoon.
The Golden Eagles didn't start off the match particularly well as the Pioneers mounted pressure in the JBU defensive zone. MNU recorded back-to-back corner kicks and two shots on goal to ignite the momentum.
Goalkeeper Kristen Morency was up to the task, collecting two saves in the first 17 minutes of play.
Despite the visitor's time of possession, it was John Brown that recorded the first goal in the 22nd minute, a Brannan strike that curled into the top shelf. Casey O'Brien notched the assist.
With the momentum totally on its side and moments remaining in the half, the Golden Eagles were poised to take a 2-0 advantage when Brannan rang a shot of the crossbar, denying her a second goal.
"We have to give a lot of credit to MNU for the way they played in the first 25 minutes," said head coach Scott Marksberry. "They possessed (the ball) well in the middle third of the field and they broke up any passes we tried to connect.
"Our first goal was a little surprising, given the flow of the game at that point. After that goal, the game began to change in our favor."
The Pioneers came out rejuvenated after half and immediately put John Brown back on its heels.
MidAmerica tied the score at one when Kara Quinn drove a free kick from almost half that beat Morency.
The goal marked the first allowed by the Golden Eagles in over four games. JBU had previously shutout its opponents for a total of 426 consecutive minutes, a streak dating back to its 2-1 loss at Trinity Christian (Ill.) on Aug. 25.
The Golden Eagles would respond, however, when Laura Garcia netted goal No. 5 on the season just eight minutes later to regain control, 2-1.
"Laura (Garcia's) goal was well deserved, I thought," Marksberry admitted. "She was giving the MNU defense constant fits in the second half."
Brannan would close out the scoring in the 79th minute, lifting JBU to its fifth-consecutive victory.
"I was really proud of our hard work, especially in back-to-back games," Brannan said. "Playing conditions weren't ideal, but we played well as a team in two games in two days.
"I consider that a successful weekend."
Freshman keeper Morency turned in an outstanding match for the host side, recording seven saves on eight shots. The Pioneers outshot John Brown 8-3.
"Our back four were solid again. Julie (Whitlow) did a great job in her first start, and Laura (Bradshaw) played her best game since transitioning into a center back. Whitney (Brannan's) goals were both very intelligent strikes. She recognized an opportunity to score from distance today, and scored on two of her five attempts from outside of 20 yards," remarked Marksberry.
John Brown (5-2-0) will now receive a well-deserved six days of rest until it hosts Dallas Christian (Texas) at Alumni Field on Saturday (Sept. 22) at 1:00 p.m.