Frey’s winner helps Golden Eagles escape in opener

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Senior Sara Freyopened her senior season in style, blasting a top-shelf winner in the 58th minute, and the No. 18 John Brown University women's soccer team avoided a difficult start to the season by slipping past No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Friday (Aug. 25) evening at Alumni Field.

The Golden Eagles (1-0-0) extended its winning streak at home to 22 straight contests while the Pioneers (0-2-0) will continue looking for its first win of the 2017 season.

The visitors found the scoreboard first in the 45th minute just before the intermission. A scramble at the top of the box allowed MNU's Lyric Henderson to loft a shot over senior Hannah Poor, forcing the Golden Eagles to make adjustments at the half.

"It's still very early," admitted head coach Kathleen Paulsen. "We have 10 new players. We're still trying to figure out where all the pieces fit."

The pieces seemed to click early on in the second half as junior Jastin Redman blasted her first of the season just five yards out after a goalmouth scramble. Junior Anna Brown started the play up the right flank and found junior Melody Hagen with a cross in the box. A misfired shot found the feet of Redman, who deposited the game-tying mark.

Just seven minutes later in the 58th minute, Brown again started the attack up the right flank. This time, her cross found junior Aspen Carpenter at the top of the 18. Carpenter laid off a pass to an onrushing Frey, who blasted a top-shelf lazer past MNU keeper Anesa Curic for the game-deciding strike.

Freshman Caitlyn Logan relieved Poor in goal in the second half and picked up her first-career victory, despite not needing to make a save as the back line of Samantha Weber, Audrey Balafas, Anne Metz and Sarah Hughes tightened up as the hosts out-shot MidAmerica Nazarene 9-1 in the second frame.

Freshmen Audrey Balafas, Caitlyn Logan, Sienna Nealon, Paige Kula, Alix Keller, Emily Jordan and Natalie Aycock each made their respective collegiate debuts in the victory.

JBU will now rest until Thursday (Aug. 31) when the Golden Eagles look for revenge for last season's departure in the NAIA National Championships Opening Round with a contest at No. 16 Cumberland (Tenn.) at 1 p.m.

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