Men's soccer dismantles USAO 5-0, breaks six-year drought

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Sophomore Kelvin Omondi scored his fourth game-winner of the season in the 18th minute, and the No. 12 John Brown University men's soccer team broke a seven-match losing skid against Science & Arts (Okla.) by handing the Drovers a 5-0 drubbing on Saturday (Oct. 15) afternoon at Alumni Field.

Sophomore Santiago Vanegas netted back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart in the 35th and 37th minutes while sophomores Conner Haney and Collin Smith scored in the second half, powered by a 16-8 JBU shooting advantage.

The Golden Eagles (10-1-1, 5-0 SAC) hadn't recorded a win over the Drovers (7-6-1, 2-2-1) since 2010, a 2-1 overtime win at Alumni Field. In the teams' last 12 meetings, USAO held a 1-11-0 edge, but this afternoon's decision was the largest margin of victory over the Drovers in men's soccer program history.

Junior Adam Holt made two saves, securing his eighth shutout of the season, and notched his first-career assist, helping John Brown to its sixth-consecutive victory.

Omondi's 11th of the season jump-started a JBU three-spot in the first half when a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, started by sophomore Ryan Williams ended up on the foot of Smith outside the top of the box. Smith's entry pass into the box was flicked by Haney behind him to an oncoming Omondi. In alone with USAO keeper Austen Parker, Omondi slipped a shot under Parker for a 1-0 lead.

Vanegas then took over the remainder of the scoring in the first half, netting goals, his firsts of the year, just 79 seconds apart in the 35th and 37th minutes. His first goal was via direct kick seven yards outside the box, which he deposited through Parker's hands and into the top shelf. Vanegas' encore performance was much different, this time a wonderful individual effort, running through the Drover back line and lacing a shot to upper right corner, built a stunning 3-0 advantage for the hosts.

While the majority of the second half was purely academic, many starters earned well-deserved rest, but the scoring wasn't complete.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Holt belted a goal kick over three-quarters the length of pitch, which deflected off sophomore Ashby Clark's shoulder at the top of the box, directly into Haney's path towards the goal. Haney, who registered his ninth of the year, one-touched the deflection with a left-footed blast past USAO backup Chris Brown.

Looking for the hattrick, the Golden Eagles earned a penalty kick and Vanegas stepped up to take the opportunity, looking to notch the first JBU hattrick since Eli Simonsen '15 in 2014. Brown rejected Vanegas' offer, but the rebound scattered to Smith, who poked his third of the season in, cementing JBU's 5-0 advantage.

Despite the 3-0 lead after the first stanza, the Golden Eagles then turned on the pressure even more, out-shooting USAO 10-4 in the second half. Omondi led all players with six attempts, with two landing on target.

Coupled with Oklahoma City's 2-1 upset win over No. 24 Southwestern Christian (Okla.) tonight, John Brown now retains sole possession of first place in the Sooner Athletic table for the first time in 2016.

JBU return to action on Tuesday (Oct. 18) at Southwestern Christian (Okla.) at 3 p.m.

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