Men's Soccer Falls to Oklahoma Baptist in SAC Opener, 1-0
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 29, 2012) — Tito Silva's goal in the 75th minute doomed the Golden Eagles in its Sooner Athletic Conference opener as John Brown fell 1-0 to Oklahoma Baptist in this afternoon's match at Alumni Field.
Silva unleashed a strike from 13 yards out in the center of the box after he was given too much open space in the prime scoring area.
The Bison controlled the ball for much of the first half, outshooting JBU 8-2 in the first 45 minutes.
Neither team had a clear scoring opportunity until the 44th minute when Pablo Garcia came up huge, stopping OBU's Rodrigo Lopes at point-blank range to preserve the tie.
The second half was a story of missed opportunity as John Brown had three prime scoring chances, but couldn't convert.
In the 52nd minute, a through ball slipped past the back line of OBU right to the foot of a streaking Andre Sandiford-Williams who found himself one-on-one with Marcus Oliveira. Sandiford-Williams uncorked a shot from six yards out, but it only found the chest of the keeper, holding the score at 0-0.
Just three minutes later, Oliveira came up big again, this time thwarting Zari Prescod's opportunity after the freshman attacker weaved his way through the Bison back line.
After Silva's goal in the 75th minute, JBU pressed and, two minutes later, Martin Gonzalez's goal bid was again denied by an outstanding effort from Oliveira.
"Today was a tough loss, the team played quite well today," head coach John Miglarese said of his team's effort in the 1-0 loss. "We had three clear chances to score in the second half. We need to develop our composure when we find scoring opportunities - the big moments in a game.
"Scoring or missing those goals will determine if we finish at the bottom or the top of the conference. Conference play is that tight."
Garcia finished the match with six saves while Eli Simonsen's three shots toward the OBU net paced the Golden Eagle offense.
"Our back line played extremely well tonight," added Miglarese. "Eli (Simonsen) was great in the midfield and our midfielders in general did a remarkable job of creating chances for our attackers."
John Brown will now turn its attention to the No. 5 team in the nation, Arts & Sciences (Okla.), when the Drovers visit Siloam Springs next Saturday (Oct. 6) for a tilt at Alumni Field during JBU's Homecoming Weekend festivities.
"What more could you ask for than a great soccer game against a top-ranked team in the nation during homecoming," said Miglarese. "We'll work on finishing this week and we will be prepared for Saturday's match."