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Eagles fall in Championship Game, ending Best Season in NCAA era

In their first appearance in the Lone Star Conference tournament, Oklahoma Christian men’s soccer came up just short in the championship game against Midwestern State University.

After earning a playoff berth in the last game of the season with a 1-1 draw against Eastern New Mexico, the Eagles beat four seed Lubbock Christian University in overtime 2-1 in the first round. 

The team’s  next matchup was against the No.1 team in the conference and the No. 4 in the country, St. Mary’s University. Due to Isaias Silva’s goal in the 34th minute, Oklahoma Christian pulled off the upset by a score of 1-0 and found themselves in the Lone Star Conference championship game.

The Eagles held down the first half, controlling the time of possession, but despite three shots on goal in the final 10 minutes alone, the team was  unable to put the ball in the back of the net. 

In the second half, Midwestern State came out firing, scoring the game’s first goal in the 47th minute. The Mustangs tacked on another score in the 88th minute to seal the deal.

The second place finish is the best record in program history, even before joining the Lone Star conference in 2019. This record comes after a 2021 season which introduced new head coach, Mitchell Sowerby, to the program. During this season, the Eagles won just one game and did not win in conference play. 

Now, in Sowerby’s second season, Oklahoma Christian finished 11-4-5 overall, 3-3-3 in the LSC, LSC tournament runner-ups, and had two separate players break the single season goals record, Joep Claassen and Danny Gutierrez.

Isaias Silva, Joep Claassen and Alexandre Picoto Rodrigues were all named to the  LSC all-tournament team for Oklahoma Christian.

“I am incredibly proud of the guys turning [this] program around and making history this season,” Sowerby said. “We know we fell short, but we’ll be back in this conference tournament for years to come.” 

The Eagles were on the bubble, but did not earn a bid for the 2022 NCAA Division II national tournament. This puts an end to the most successful season in the NCAA era for Oklahoma Christian.

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