Bethel men upend SCU
The early schedule for the Bethel College men’s soccer team hasn’t been easy, facing three teams out of the Sooner Athletic Conference and one out of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
The first three came on the road.
The Threshers finally came home Wednesday, dealing a 3-1 blow to Southwestern Christian University at Thresher Stadium.
The Eagles received votes in the latest NAIA poll, finishing just two spots out of the top 25.
“They are a super strong program,” Bethel coach James Cottage said. “They get votes every week. (Coach) Adam (Kay) does a great job with that program. They have grown over the years. They came on very strong. We got a little bit lucky on one set piece and they ended up not scoring. We stayed in the game, took our chances and that worked out for us.”
Bethel evens its record to 2-2 with two more games remaining before the start of conference play.
“We set the schedule to be difficult from the start to test us, see what we’re good at and what we need to improve,” Cottage said. “I think that’s the hardest game of the four and to come out with that result show how much we’ve grown.”
Juan Nicoletti scored twice for the Threshers — on a counter attack in the ninth minute with an assist from Juan Demichelis and a breakaway in the 73rd minute. Cristobel Goldberg scored on a direct kick in the 51st minute.
Jackson Kim scored for the Eagles in the 67th minute.
Bethel was outshot 10-5, 7-5 on target. Colton Rothwell had six saves for Bethel. Santiago Esparza had two saves for SCU.
The Eagles put intense pressure on the Threshers in the first 25 minutes of the game, but as the game went on, the Threshers were able to mount an attack. Bethel equalized possession in the second half.
“At first, I was kind of nervous,” Rothwell said. “After I made a couple of saves, I started feeling pretty good. That motivated the team and we scored a couple of goals. (In the second half,) I started feeling a little bored. It feels great to get back even and get another win. We need to keep playing like that, keep playing as a team and we’ll keep getting results.”
Bethel returns home at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to face Central Christian. The Tigers, another SAC opponent, are 2-2.
“They’re another good team,” Cottage said. “They’ve had some good results. They play everybody in the conference, so they are a good gauge of where we’re at.”
1. BC Juan Nicoletti (Juan Demichelis) 8:55
2. BC Cristobel Goldberg (unassisted) 50:18
3. SC Jackson Kim (unassisted) 66:45
4. BC Nicoletti (unassisted) 72:37 Total shots — SC 7-3—10, BC 2-3—5. Shots on goal — SC 6-1—7, BC 2-3—5. Saves — SC: Santiago Esparza (L) 1-1—2. BC: Colton Rothwell (W) 6-0—6. Corner kicks — SC 5, BC 1. Fouls — SC 8, BC 16. Offside — SC 3, BC 2. Cautions — SC: Matthew Malama 44:59, Cameron Ashby 85:55. BC: Jose Ramos 74:03.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com