Men's Soccer Team Finishes #2 in Nation
OCU Soccer has made strides over the past few years. Now, according to Coach Josh Murton, they are where they need to be in the national scene. After finishing the 2010 season #2 in the nation and the 2009 season #3 season, OCU is considered one of the top teams in the NCCAA.
OCU made it to the final defeating Manhattan Christian in the Quarterfinals 3-1 and Northland International University 2-1 in the Semifinals. In OCU's first National Championship, they faced Clearwater Christian College--a team OCU is all to familiar with. "We came into the game knowing we could compete and go toe to toe with them, but I felt like we just didn't have our touch there. I could see the nerves of a national title with our guys," mentioned Coach Murton. Clearwater started the scoring in the 10th minute on a goal from Tournament MVP, Tyler Spraul. "We still didn't calm down after that goal and go back to playing our game and paid for it 20 minutes later", Murton referring to Clearwaters second goal in the 35th minute. That was the end of the scoring but not the end of the drama.
In the second half OCU calmed down and played more of their style of soccer, but emotions ran high when Stu Hostetter was given a red card in the 70th minute challenging the goalkeeper for the ball. "It was a tough call to make right then and there. The referees had been solid all tournament long, but I had questions on the call," mentioned Coach Murton. The call gave Clearwater a one man advantage for the rest of the game, but OCU didn't stop fighting. "If what we showed in the last 20 minutes is what this program is about, then I am proud to be the coach. We never gave up. I was subbing in some freshmen and some other players who have not seen a lot of playing time, and they did what the Lord asks of us--give everything we have in everything we do. I am proud of our boys. Win, lose, or draw, they showed they are champions," added Murton.
OCU men finish 14-9-0 for the season, the second best record in school history only to 2009's finish of 17-6-1. The 2nd place finish is what stands out for the 2010 team and it is something that OCU will continue to build its program on.