Men’s soccer draws with SCU, maintains leadership of table

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BETHANY, Okla. -- A week in which the No. 12 John Brown University men's soccer team faces two of the top three Sooner Athletic teams, the Golden Eagles rode an Ashby Clark goal early in the match to a 1-1 draw at Southwestern Christian (Okla.) on Tuesday (Oct. 18) afternoon at the Cagle Family Field.

Southwestern Christian (10-3-1, 4-1-1 SAC), which was upended 3-2 at Oklahoma City on Saturday (Oct. 15) night, was averaging over 4.5 goals a game in the three matches coming in, and the Golden Eagles (10-1-2, 5-0-1) forced the hosts to sweat out a match that required a late SCU response and overtime drama.

"A draw at SCU is not the worst result," admitted head coach Scott Marksberry. "We should have done better with the quality of chances that we created, but we will take one point from a tough conference road test. Our goals for the game were less about tactics and more about how we would deal with the idiosyncrasies of the match environment.

"In that, I thought our boys did a nice job. We have placed ourselves in a good position in the conference with a huge test waiting for us this weekend."

JBU out-shot the Eagles by a final 17-14 count, and enjoyed a man advantage in the second overtime when SCU's Artur Gomes was redcarded with one second left in the first extra time session. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, only sophomore Ryan Williams was able to attempt a shot on goal, which was saved by keeper Caleb Swanepoel, who ended the match with seven saves.

The visitors had plenty of chances to score, including finding iron twice in the second half, first by sophomore Conner Haney and again by sophomore Kelvin Omondi. Even in the first overtime knotted at one, sophomore Giovani Bejarano's header attempt bested Swanepoel, but an Eagle defender was able to clear it off the line.

Christian tied the game at one in the 68th minute when Lucas Loureiro netted his fourth of the season with a strike outside the box. After a JBU turnover deep by the corner flag, SCU emerged with possession and a pass from Gomes to Loureiro at the top of the box offered him an open shooting lane to rip a shot past junior Adam Holt.

The Golden Eagles found the scoresheet first as Clark deposited his fifth of the season past Swanepoel in the 13th minute. Sophomore Santiago Vanegas began the play up the flank and dished a pass forward to Williams in the attacking third. Without touching the ball, Williams dummied the ball, confusing his defender, and allowed the pass to continue to Clark, who ripped a shot from just outside the box.

The match was a chippy affair, as five cards were doled out over 100 minutes, two yellows to JBU and a pair of yellows and a red to the hosts, including one yellow reserved for the Christian bench.

Escaping one test, the Golden Eagles will travel to its next on Saturday (Oct. 22). In Plainview, Texas, JBU will face co-SAC leader Wayland Baptist (9-3-2, 5-0-1) in a matinee affair for sole possession of first place, heading into the final week of the regular season.

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