Set pieces haunt men’s soccer in semifinal defeat

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- No. 18 and second-seeded John Brown University answered an early Science & Arts (Okla.) goal with a tally of its own just 36 seconds later, but the upstart third-seeded Drovers rode a mid-first-half goal to a 2-1 upending of the Golden Eagles on Tuesday (Nov. 8) afternoon at Alumni Field in the Sooner Athletic tournament semifinals.

The two goals against in the rain-soaked affair was the most JBU (13-3-2) has given up at Alumni Field all season as the Golden Eagles are now at the mercy of the NAIA National Coaches' Top 25 Poll and the final MRPI, in which John Brown landed at No. 13 with a 0.669303 rating.

The Golden Eagles peppered the Drover goal with shots in the second half, eight in total, but seven of the attempts did not end up on frame, including a pair of close-quartered free kicks late in the match. Conversely, the Drovers carried play in the first stanza, out-shooting JBU, 9-4.

USAO stunned with the first goal of the contest just 5:22 in when Llewellyn Evans headed in a long free kick from Owen Connelly in the middle of a sea of Golden Eagle defenders, netting his 13th of the season.

Armed with an immediate answer, John Brown scored on the ensuing possession just 36 seconds later. Junior Steve Teshima banged home his third of the year, pocketing the rebound off junior Collin Smith's initial shot.

Brodi Keefe scored his first of the season in the 29th minute after Connelly's corner kick found him deep in the JBU box. Keefe let go a shot to the far left post, notching the game-deciding goal.

Junior Adam Holt made four saves, all in the first half, and was hit with the loss. USAO's Austen Parker collected three saves in the winning effort.

The NAIA will announce the championship field early next week after this weekend's myriad of conference championship games have completed around the country.

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