The CCC men's and women's soccer teams traveled to Bartlesville, Oklahoma on Wednesday to play the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles. The Eagles swept the Tigers defeating the women's team 8-0 but narrowly escaping with a 2-1 victory over the men.
For the women, the Eagles opened up the scoring in the 2nd minute of the game which didn't bode well for the Tigers. Things settled down for a while but then the Tigers gave up three more goals to the Eagles late in the first half to trail at halftime 0-4. In the second half it was more of the same. The Eagles scored two more goals in the opening 15 minutes of the half and then their final two goals in the last 15 minutes. Amanda Curtis, the Tiger goal keeper, who was under fire all afternoon, faced 35 shots in the game, 19 of them on goal. She came away with 11 saves for the game.
Because of injuries, very few times this season has Coach Reimer been able to have the same group of ladies available in consecutive matches. This makes it hard to form any kind of cohesive and consistent play. His comments after the game reflect this frustration of fielding a new starting 11 almost every time they take the field. "It was a tough day. We did not have one of our key defensive players, Natalie Ventura, as center back and we were unorganized from the start."
The loss drops the Tigers to 1-11 on the season. They go back on the road on Saturday for another conference match up, this time in Omaha, Nebraska against College of St. Mary. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
On the men's side of things, the Tigers had the daunting task of playing an OKWU team that hadn't lost a regular season MCAC game in almost two year. The Eagles were first in the MCAC last year, and were sitting in first place this year as well. However, if there is one thing that defines this year's CCC men's squad, it's fearlessness. It didn't matter that the Eagles were ranked 8th in the nation, the Tigers gave them everything they wanted.
The Tigers held the high scoring Eagle offense to only one goal in the first half, that coming in the 29th minute of the half. In the second half, the Tigers continued to play stingy defense, again giving up only one goal in the half. Unfortunately, the Tiger offense was only able muster one goal of its own. Actually scoring a goal against the Eagles this season is quite a feat. The OKWU defense has never surrendered more than one goal in a single game all season, and they have only given up a total of 4 goals in 11 games. The Tiger goal came in the 74th minute. Defenseman Eric Clayborne scored his first goal of the season off a double assist from Grant Rardon and Stephen Craig.
Coach Hoxie was impressed with his team's performance saying, "We were really up against it today. They are one of the best teams with some of the best players our boys will ever see at this level. We were spot on tactically and the players executed the game plan wonderfully. They were very frustrated and I smiled. Well done from our boys today, very proud of them."
The loss evens the Tigers record at 6-6-1 for the season, and 1-2 in conference play. They hope to become post season eligible with a win at home on Saturday evening. The Tigers will be hosting Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College at 8:00 pm.