Gonzalez’s Missile Sends Golden Eagles to Second Win over Ranked Opponent

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 20, 2014) -- Senior midfielder Martin Gonzalez provided all the offense that John Brown (4-3-0) needed tonight in the form of a game-winning bullet from outside the box as the Golden Eagles secured a 1-0 victory over No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.) at Alumni Field.

JBU has now won four consecutive matches and, with tonight’s win, notched two of its last three victories over opponents in the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 Poll.

“That was a very mature performance from our team,” said head coach Scott Marksberry after the victory. “Scoring as early as we did against a good team can sometimes make the clock seem to run in slow motion, but it did not feel that way tonight. We looked more confident in our defending as the game went on and we created enough good chances to keep Benedictine honest in the back while we were solid in possession.

“This was a great result to end our non-conference slate, but all of our attention now turns to Sooner Athletic Conference play. A new season starts next weekend in Bethany, Okla. Everyone is 0-0-0 right now in the conference, and we want to learn from all of our non-conference games to give us our best chance to win league matches.”

The match’s only tally came in the sixth minute when a Golden Eagle counter-attack was slowed down by sophomore forward Marco Cardona. After allowing his teammates to flood the offensive side of the field, Cardona dropped the ball off to junior midfielder Eli Simonsen. Simonsen then played a well-though ball to a streaking Gonzalez up the left flank. Gonzalez cut into the middle of the field and let go a cannon from 10 yards outside the box. The attempt grazed the underside of the crossbar and bounced in off Raven goalkeeper Taylor Vinnage as he landed in the save attempt.

It was Gonzalez’s first goal of the season, 18th of his career, and his first-game winner. He now holds three game-clinchers in his career. Simonsen added the assist, his third of the season and the 17th of his career.

John Brown owned a 14-10 shot advantage and tested Vinnage early and often with seven attacks on goal. Vinnage absorbed the loss for the Ravens, making six saves, while freshman keeper Adam Holt made three saves for JBU, earning his third-consecutive shutout and running his consecutive clean-sheet effort to 337:50.

Ryan Dickerson and Fabio Priore each accumulated a trio of shots for Benedictine (3-3-1). Gonzalez led all players with seven shots for the Golden Eagles while senior striker Ryan Duncan and Simonsen each added a pair. BC held a 5-2 margin in corner kick opportunities.

The Ravens pushed the ball in the waning moments, even sending Vinnage from his goalmouth forward on the attack. Benedictine seemed to have a scoring chance in the final seconds, but John Brown caught a break when senior defender Darwin Silva’s high kick was whistled, halting play. The center official chose to charge Silva with a foul and not award Benedictine advantage on the play. On the ensuing free kick which came dangerously close to the John Brown net, junior defender Will Simonds cleared the ball in the six yard box, cementing the hosts’ victory.

The Golden Eagles will now rest for a week before it returns to the pitch on Saturday (Sept. 27) in Bethany, Okla. JBU will face Southwestern Christian (Okla.) in its conference opener at 3 p.m.

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