OCU Men's Soccer Win Regional Title!
On Saturday, October 31st at 3:30pm, Ohio Christian University celebrated their first Regional Tournament Champion in school history when the men's soccer team downed Johnson Bible College 5-2.
Johnson Bible College has been the Mid-East Regions representative to the National Tournament the past two years. This year, it is OCU's turn. "I can't expressed how wonderful this feels. This has been a dream for us since I came here to OCU. Now to realize this dream after all the hard word is just a blessing" mentioned Coach Josh Murton.
Coach Murton came to OCU 2 years ago and came into a program that had a record of 42 wins, 175 losses and 2 ties since it's inception in 1980. In two years the OCU program has come alive with 25 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie. "All we really needed to do was change the mentality of the players. We were going out to win and we were going to prepare as if we were to win. I feel we have done a good job there" added Murton.
The Regional Final against Johnson Bible College started out fine. OCU controlled the tempo on the field and started to push their weight around. But Johnson was the first to score in the 19th minute. "We kept our composure even though we had some adversity. As a matter of fact we welcomed it, embraced it and tackled it" elaborated Murton on the adversity. Tackle it they did and in the 37th minute, OCU's Dave Blamo scored from an assist bt Kevin Street. They went into the half tied 1-1 and with a lot of momentum. The chess match got interesting as both teams worked on each others weakness. The stalemate was broken in the 62nd minute on a loose ball inside the penalty box. It was Joel Eckert who looped the ball in on a ugly goal, but effective. "I could care less how he got it in. He just did what he needed to do to get it in" said Murton. After that the "flood gates" opened and OCU saw a goal by Ben Ballein in the 65th minute and again Dave Blamo in the 72nd minute to take a 4-1 lead late in the game. Johnson Bible was awarded a penalty kick in the 76th minute and it was converted, but that would end JBC's goal scoring for the day. OCU finished the scoring on a rocked by Blake Steinbrink to finish the job and a 5-2 win.
The men will travel to Kissimmee, Florida on November 11th to play in the 8 team National Tournament with a chance of being crowned National Champions. "It's very humbling to us as a team to be the first athletic team at OCU to win our region and represent our school. We hope this will be one of many banners raised in the Leadership Center" mentioned Coach Murton.