Eagles and Lady Eagles both take season opener

Sophomore Dakota Milner gains possession against an East Central defender in the 1-0 win on Thursday. Photo by Jenny Rigney.

Sophomore Dakota Milner gains possession against an East Central defender in the 1-0 win on Thursday. Photo by Jenny Rigney.

In their first game of the 2017 soccer season, the Oklahoma Christian University men’s soccer team shut out long-time rival Southern Nazarene University 3-0 in Bethany, OK. This is the first time the Eagles have won against Southern Nazarene in 13 seasons.

After an early score by sophomore Chandler Parrish at the 38:28 mark to take a 1-0 lead, the Eagles built on that lead to take their season opener.
“It was great to contribute after putting in so much work,” Parrish said. “We worked really hard to be ready for this, so coming out with a win in our first game just motivates us to try even harder.”
Senior Cody McLemore and sophomore Jaiden van der Heijden both scored in the final 10 minutes of regulation to finish out the game.

Freshman Cole Helterbrand assisted on both Parrish and McLemore’s goals in his first collegiate game.

The Eagles out-shot the Crimson Storm 29-12 and blocked 11 of those 12 shots.

Junior goalkeeper Gianluca Marchetti saved five goals in his first contest as an Eagle in a full 90 minutes of play.

On the second stop in their season-starting road trip, the Eagles traveled to Searcy, AR to battle Oklahoma Christian’s sister school Harding University.

The game was tied until the 41st minute, when Harding’s Jason Diaz knocked in a shot following a steal to give his team the lead.

After halftime, freshman Sebastian Capkovic tied the game at 1-1 in the 53rd minute with a tap-in from the left post.

After a Harding foul within the penalty box, sophomore Garrett Blume converted the penalty kick at the 66:22 mark for his first career goal, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead.

The Bison responded in the 70th minute, tying the game up at 2-2.

Parrish tapped in a cross from left field in the 79th minute to bring Oklahoma Christian back up by one heading into the final minutes of the game.

Despite Harding’s advantage in shot attempts at 17-15, the Eagles had more saves at 7-4.

Senior Anthony Buchanan assisted on two of the three goals and Marchetti had all seven saves for Oklahoma Christian.

Three Eagles received yellow cards in the game, two of which were simultaneous at the 78:49 mark.

After closing the week with two goals, Parrish was named as the first Eagle of the Week honoree for the 2017-18 academic year.

“I didn’t even know the award was a thing,” Parrish said. “It is awesome to not just be awarded this honor, but also be the first of the year.”

The season opening for the women’s Oklahoma Christian soccer team resulted in a 1-0 victory against East Central University.

After missing all last season due to an ACL injury, senior Courtney Nixon scored the only goal for Oklahoma Christian in the 47th minute on an assist from freshman Brianna Concienne.

“It was awesome,” Nixon said. “It was all I worked for over the summer. All of the girls know that since I injured my knee last year, that was all I have been working toward. I told them I would be back and better than ever. It just meant a lot to me to be able to show what I could accomplish after missing the last season.”

Despite having a 19-9 disadvantage in shots, Sophomore Addison Milner had four saves in her first collegiate start helping Oklahoma Christian shut out the Tigers.

After winning their season opener, the Lady Eagles fell 3-2 against Southern Nazarene in extra time, starting the season with a 1-1 record.

Oklahoma Christian won the shot battle at 13-12 in the second half, but the Crimson Storm won the overall with a 27-16 total.

Sophomore Dakota Milner and Concienne each scored goals to tie the game at two points during the second half.

Concienne nearly hit the game winner in the 93rd minute, but her shot deflected off of the post. Two minutes later, a longshot from Southern Nazarene’s Kylee Payne ended the game at the 94:30 mark.

“We worked so hard up until that final goal,” Nixon said. “I thought we were going to win. Especially when Bri hit that shot against the pole, I was already celebrating.”

Addison Milner had eight saves on the game.

“This just shows that we can compete,” Nixon said. “Things didn’t go in our favor this time, but we worked hard, and if we do that again things might turn for us in the next one.”

The men will play Oklahoma Baptist University Thursday at 5 p.m. at home, followed by the Lady Eagles game against Lubbock Christian University at 7:30 p.m.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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