WATERTOWN, WI—The Maranatha Men’s Soccer team defeated Grace Bible College 2-0 on a gusty afternoon in Watertown. “What won us the game today was our composure on the ball and our controlling the time of possession,” stated Pill after the team’s third straight home win. “Hats off to Grace—a very well organized, well-coached team. Fortunately, we were able to do a great job of circulating the ball even when the wind was in our faces.” Although a sunny, 75-degree day, winds reached as high as 30 mph during the course of the match.
The Crusaders dominated play in the first half with the wind in their favor, and pressing play by freshman forward Wira Wama (Papua New Guinea), forced a Tiger foul in their own box, awarding the Crusaders a penalty kick in the 30th minute. The kick was taken by senior Brian Lundquist (Reading, MA.), and buried in the left netting for the Crusader’s first goal.
Strong play by the Tiger defense allowed the score to remain at 1-0 for the rest of the half, where Grace hoped to have a better advantage playing with the wind in the second half.
Evenly matched for the first 20 minutes of the second half, both teams were able to put together consistent runs and attacks, but neither were able to climax with a goal. A corner kick by Wama in the 73rd minute, however, proved deadly for the Tigers, as junior midfielder Jackson Miller (Marinette, WI.) was able to finish on a ricochet to heighten the score to 2-0.
Miller’s goal proved to be enough for the Crusaders as they relied on their star players in the middle to preserve the lead. “Our ‘spine’ continues to provide consistent, solid play,” remarks Pill. “Drew, Brian, Taylor, and Wira work very well together down the middle in their respective positions, and really made it easy for us today to maintain the lead.”
The win improves the Crusaders to 2-2 in conference play, and comes after an emotional win just two nights earlier against Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. “It’s a healthy sign for us to come out today and be able to sustain good, consistent play,” states Pill. “Coming off of a big game Thursday night, I am really proud of the guys for bringing it again today and getting a good result.”
Alex Kornivisky (Charlotte, N.C.) registered his 2nd shutout of the season in goal, with Lundquist recording his 5th goal of the season and Miller his 1st.
The Crusaders next match-up is against another tough opponent, Concordia-Wisconsin, who they will battle at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1st in Mequon, WI.