WATERTOWN, WI—The Maranatha Crusaders overcame humidity and heartache on Saturday afternoon to defeat the Regents of Rockford University 7-0 in Watertown. “Wow,” says head coach Jeff Pill emotionally after the game, “That’s hard…to have your senior leader go down like that…that’s just hard.” Coach Pill was referring to senior midfielder Brian Lundquist (Reading, MA), who suffered a gruesome leg injury right before the end of the first half. Coach Pill went on to say, “Brian trained nearly every night this summer with another one of our guys; to have his season end like that with a broken leg…that’s just hard.”
Despite an emotional end to the first half and a somber Parents Day ceremony at halftime, the Crusaders rallied together to keep the Regents scoreless and improve to 6-4 overall with the 7-0 victory.
Maranatha started its attack early, with a shot on goal by freshman forward Wira Wama (Papua New Guinea) just fifteen seconds into the game that was saved by Regent goalkeeper Chris Kunde (Sterling, IL).
The Crusaders would continue their offensive onslaught, and be rewarded in the ninth minute with a goal by sophomore forward Tim Rogers (Willmar, MN) off of a corner kick by junior Taylor Pill (Watertown, WI).
Maranatha would find the net once again exactly eight minutes later, with a goal by senior Dustin Dolan (Watertown, WI) on a breakaway finish.
The Rockford defense gave the Crusaders twelve corner kicks in the first half alone, and the eighth proved to be deadly for the Regents as senior Mitchell Holley (Watertown, WI) finished the cross with a flick into the upper netting to record his first goal of the season.
The score would remain at 3-0 until halftime, which ended three minutes early due to the tragic injury.
With 48:16 on the clock to begin the second half, the Crusaders came out with intensity and were rewarded with a good finish by sophomore transfer Kyler Mowry (Inverness, IL), that notched his first goal as a Crusader.
Maranatha would score three more times before the final whistle blew, with goals coming from Wama, Rogers, and Kellen Farnham (Saginaw, MI). Timothy Rogers’ goal was truly highlight material as he finished on a spectacular diving header off of a cross from senior Todd Howard (Conklin, NY). Farnham recorded his first goal of the season with a well-placed header off of yet another corner kick for Maranatha. The Crusaders would finish with fifteen corner kicks during the course of the game, scoring on three of them.
Says Coach Pill of his team’s play, “We played really well today. Our possession was exquisite at times. We were creating a lot of second chances, and had a lot of guys contributing—which was nice to see on parents day. Although a lot of sadness today, also some things to be excited about.”
Overall, despite tragic heartache caused by a severe injury, the Crusaders were able to unite together to achieve their sixth win of the season. The team looks forward to their next matchup in Lincoln, IL, on Tuesday, against Lincoln Christian at 4:00 pm.