BETHANY, Okla. -- Despite allowing a goal in the third minute, the sixth-seeded John Brown University men's soccer team clamped down defensively and received a pair of goals from senior Conner Haney to upset third-seeded Southwestern Christian (Okla.) for the second time this season, 2-1, in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday at Cagle Family Field.
On the back of two timely saves from senior Britt Wisener in the final 10 minutes of play, the Golden Eagles (9-7-1) earned a measure of sweet revenge as Southwestern Christian (14-4-1) ended John Brown's season twice over the last three seasons.
Haney tallied his seventh and eighth goals of the season while seniors Giovani Bejarano and Santiago Vanegas joined freshman Micah Herrmann in posting assists in the victory.
The hosts got on the board early, just 2 minutes, 27 seconds in, when Moritz Kulick, appearing in just his third match this season, headed in a Damnjan Kojic service from the corner past Wisener for a 1-0 lead.
Unphased, John Brown responded by keeping the shot count close, 3-2, over the next 27 minutes until Haney knotted the score at 1-1.
Bejarano headed forward a pass from behind midfield that fell behind the SCU back line in the 31st minute. Haney, with a full head of steam, ran onto the ball as Southwestern Christian keeper Milos Milovic came to challenge him at the top of the 18. Haney dribbled around Milovic and calmly deposited a shot into the empty net to reverse the John Brown fortunes.
Thirteen minutes after the intermission, Haney landed his timely score, the result of strong passing from the wing. Vanegas began the play on the left flank by sending a pass into the box to Herrmann. Herrmann eluded his defender and passed off to Haney breaking toward the goal. Haney curled the shot around Milovic and tucked it inside the far right post for his second game-winner of the season.
The hosts got chippy after the point, racking up four yellow cards as the match neared 30 combined fouls.
Wisener stopped Igor Stojanovic twice and Kulick, who scored earlier, over the final 11 minutes of play. He would finish the contest with seven saves on eight SCU offerings on target to move to 9-7-1 on the season.
Milovic watched two of three John Brown shots on target beat him as SCU out-shot the Golden Eagles 17-12 on the match.
JBU advanced to the SAC Tournament semifinals on Tuesday at Science and Arts (Okla.). Results were not available at presstime. The winner advances to the finals which will be played on Friday.Sports on 11/07/2018
Print Headline: Men's soccer defeats SCU in opening round