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DeGrazia named Heartland offensive player of the week

Photo by: Henoc Kivuye


The men’s soccer team kept their winning streak alive on the road as they knocked off Central Christian College in McPherson, Kan.

Sophomore Brandon Little Axe and junior Domenico DeGrazia each netted two goals, and sophomore Cole Rinke and senior Rodgers Otieno both added goals in the 6-0 victory.

“The key to winning Saturday’s game was to play the way we have been practicing,” Little Axe said. “Keep possession, move the ball quicker and exploit the space given to us. No more lumping the ball over the top and trying to outrun them.”

The victory improved Oklahoma Christian University’s record to 2-0 for the season, with both wins coming on the road.

“All the success that we’ve had this year lies within our team chemistry,” Little Axe said. “We want to win as a team. The work we put in, on and off the field, is for each other. That being said, our fitness is significantly better than last year and we use that to the best of our abilities.”

Oklahoma Christian outshot Central Christian 29-9 in a game where every Eagles’ bench player entered the game.

Little Axe started the Eagles off early, scoring a goal in the third minute of the game.

Coming off a hat trick in his last game, DeGrazia scored second for the Eagles on a penalty kick in the 20th minute.

Little Axe tacked on his second goal of the game less than a minute later.

On Wednesday, DeGrazia was named the Heartland Conference men’s soccer offensive player of the week.

“As far as what I’ve done personally to be more successful, is to stay fit and work harder every day,” Little Axe said. “It sounds simple enough, but just like every sport if, you see your teammate working, then you want to push yourself. I want to be a good example, and I feel like that’s everybody’s mindset this year. That ties into our team chemistry as well.”

The Eagles added the other two goals after halftime to complete the shutout victory.

Meanwhile, in Newman, Kan., the Lady Eagles soccer team found themselves on the wrong end of a golden goal eight minutes into overtime and fell short to the Jets 2-1.

Senior Somer Helms scored Oklahoma Christian’s only goal in the game in the 62nd minute. The Eagles outshot Newman 12-10 on the night.

Although both teams play in the Heartland Conference, this game counted as a non-conference game. The two teams will play their first conference game against each other Oct. 28.

The Lady Eagles had a quick turnaround when they faced Midwestern State on Saturday.

Oklahoma Christian kept the game close until Midwestern State broke the game open with two goals in the last five minutes of the game.

Twice the Lady Eagles had close scoring opportunities in the 20th minute trailing 1-0, but two passes just missed their intended targets.

Midwestern State put the game away in the final five minutes, once off an assist and score in the box, and then with another goal off a corner kick in the 90th minute.

Sophomore Anna Walker was in goal for the second half for the Lady Eagles and recorded four saves. Junior Estefania Bermudez Delgado led the Eagles with five shots in the game.

Oklahoma Christian had a rough Tuesday night. The men came up short to No. 9-ranked Northeastern State in the second half 7-2.

This brought the Eagles record to 2-1, all road games. It was also the first time the two teams have met since 1998.

The women struggled to break Southern Nazarene University’s defense — falling 2-0.

“Form goes out the window in any rival game so I think it’s key we forget our recent disappointments, leave them in the past and go and cause an upset,” Assistant Coach Neil Hilton said.

The Eagles face off against Newman University tonight in Kansas.

Both men’s and women’s teams will be in action Monday Sept. 23 at home against St. Gregory’s University.

These games will also serve as the Eagles for Christ kickoff event.

Eagles for Christ is an athletic group dedicated to Christian athletes and fans.

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