Men’s Soccer Loses Grip on 2-0 Lead, Drops First Match of Season

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McPHERSON, Kan. -- Sophomores Kelvin Omondi and Ryan Williams each struck for goals to give the John Brown University men's soccer team a commanding 2-0 lead, but a three-goal comeback by Bellevue (Neb.) sent the No. 17 Bruins to a 3-2 double-overtime win on Friday (Sept. 9) afternoon at the McPherson Soccer Field.

The Golden Eagles (3-1-0) dropped its first game of the season, snapping its three-match win streak, despite controlling the statistics. JBU out-shot the Bruins 21-11 and fired four more shots on goal, 12-8. John Brown even held an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks.

Bellevue (3-3-1) scored the match's three final goals over the last 31:32 of play. Jonas Starkus tallied the bookend goals, while Finlay Bloodworth netted the game-tying strike with just 1:45 left in regulation.

After an even first period of overtime, BU controlled the second overtime, firing two shots, forcing senior Adam Holt to make a save.

"We played well on the day, but we didn't take our chances the way that we should have," said head coach Scott Marksberry. "And we allowed three set-piece goals, which is poor by us. It is hard to win games when you allow the types of goals we allowed today.

"Plenty of positives, for sure, but we really should have done better."

Omondi started the match's scoring in the 30th minute when JBU's leading scorer tallied his fourth of the season by burying a Santiago Vanegas corner past BU keeper Ben Martin.

Williams capped off a series of passes and shots through the middle of the Bruin defense when he knocked in the rebound of junior Steve Teshima, building John Brown's 2-0 lead in the 54th minute.

Omondi and Williams led all players with six shots. Holt (3-1-0) made five saves in his first defeat of the season. For BU, Martin's 10 saves are a season-high as his record moves to 3-3-1.

The match was originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, but constantly lightning strikes forced officials to postpone the match to Sept. 9. Per NAIA rules, a match that does not complete at least 70 minutes of play cannot count. The first iteration of the match was called in the 64th minute, forcing both teams to start over the following morning.

The Golden Eagles finish the Red Card Cancer Classic on Saturday (Sept. 10) when it faces Northwestern (Iowa) at 11:00 a.m.

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