OCU Men's Soccer have a big weekend
For the second year in a row, the OCU Men's Soccer took the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Regular season title by defeating Johnson Bible College on Friday 3-2 and Crown College on Saturday 4-0. The men swept through the regular season with a perfect 8-0-0 record against their regional foes. The wins also marked the most wins in a season for an OCU soccer team with 12. The previous record was 10 wins set last year. "It's a great standard for us to set, but I know the boys and my staff feel there is more to accomplish. We have aspirations to progress further and get better each day we step out on the field" mentioned Coach Murton.
On Friday the men had a chance to at least share the title by beating Johnson Bible College. It didn't start off to great either. In the 7th minute Johnson scored the first goal. "They jumped out on us with the first goal but we dealt with it very well and focused on the task at hand", Murton mentioned on the early adversity. In the 18th minute, Emanuel Harris found Dave Blamo on a through ball and Blamo finish the play with a shot to the back end of the net. Now OCU was in business and started to control the game play. This became apparent when the Trailblazers score 6 minutes later on a cross from Harris. This time he found Dexter Chapman's head and OCU went up 2-1. Johnson would regain control of play and scored in the 33rd minute to level the score. 7 minutes later, OCU would gab the lead for good when Jimmy Galvan sent a ball to Harris. Harris finished the goal as OCU took the lead 3-2. In the second half both teams battled in the midfield to gain control of the possession but OCU held thier ground and eventually out possessed thier foe. "It became a bit of a chess match and I felt that we did what we needed to do to finish the game. I am not particularly happy with our play but we did what we needed to do to win" assessed Coach Murton.
That night OCU traveled down to Berea, Kentucky to play Crown College the next day. Crown College was 6-1-0 in the region and could at least make a decent shot at OCU's bit for the regular season title. OCU wasn't going to be denied thier second season title and defeated Crown College on a wet and cold day. Scoring for the OCU men were Harris, Blamo, Chapman and Joel Eckert. The turning point of the game came when OCU had a 2-0 lead but Taylor Ryan (OCU Goalkeeper) tripped up a Crown forward in the penalty box. Crown was awarded a PK and a chance to creep up on OCU. Crown forward, Houston Sherrod took the PK, but Ryan saved the shot to his right and denied Crown a chance to get in the game. Two minutes later the OCU men scored to dash Crowns hopes of a comeback.
OCU men are now 12-3-0 overall and 8-0-0 in the Mid-East Region. They next play Shawnee State University, another NAIA challenge to see how the men match up against a higher level opponent, on Monday in Portsmouth at 4PM.
(In the picture. Teays Valley's own, Anthony Delong fights for the ball against Johnson)