Jays claim his & hers soccer titles

The Tabor College men’s soccer team won a share of its first-ever KCAC soccer championship with a 2-0 victory over Kansas Wesleyan in Salina Saturday.

The Jays are undefeated in conference play and can win the crown outright with a win over Bethel in the final game of league play Wednesday. Tabor is 13-2 overall.

Nathan Wilkey, Tabor coach, applauded his team for a sound performance in every area of play.

“We played well,” he said. “We played the feet in the middle of the field and we defended well. We did well in the air and that’s what they (Kansas Wesleyan) were trying to do. And we showed some creativity offensively.”

The overlapping play of stopper Michael Zollinger and wing backs Brian Lachman and Damon Turkle contributed to the Bluejays’ creative attack.

The first goal came when Turkle found space up the left sideline and sent a hard cross in front of the goal. The pass eluded the Coyote keeper, but found David Heim near the end line. Heim headed the ball back to the goal mouth, where Dylan Pohlman headed the offering into the net.

The goal came with 3:38 remaining in the half and was the only score of the period.

Kansas Wesleyan used the long ball in an attempt to create offense in the second half.

The heads of Bluejay defenders Turkle, Scott Friesen, and Geoff Lanham and the aggressive play of goalkeeper Joe Stutzman thwarted most of the Coyote attack, although Lanham was forced to clear one ball of the goal line and Kansas Wesleyan had one other close chance with a minute remaining in the game.

Zollinger sealed the win when he finished a nice through-ball from Joel Phelps with 36 seconds left.

Stutzman had five saves to collect the shutout.

Earlier in the week, Tabor defeated conference contender Friends 3-1 in Hillsboro Wednesday.

The Falcons went up 1-0 in the 14th minute, but Heim knotted the score on an assist from Zollinger with 30 seconds left in the first half.

Tabor scored twice on set pieces to seal the win in the second half. In the 60th minute, Turkle looped a free kick inside the box, where Casey Barton neatly headed the offering into the net.

Fifteen minutes later Turkle, again on a free kick, touched the ball to Lanham, who drilled a shot by the Friends wall and past the goalkeeper.

Stutzman made five saves in the first half of play and Mike Hartman grabbed seven in the second half.

Barton was named the KCAC’s “Player of the Week” for Week 6, The 6-2 midfielder scored two goals and had one assist in two games that week. This is the second time this year he has won that award.

The Bluejays travel to North Newton to meet Bethel for a 2 p.m. match and then journey to McPherson for a 3 p.m. non-league game with Central Christian to close out the season Saturday.

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