Bluejay men’s soccer improves to 2-0 in KCAC play

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College men’s soccer team defeated rival Bethel College, 2-0, in North Newton on Saturday.

“This was our best defensive performance of the year,” coach Lincoln Wulf said. “We did what we needed to do all season-stay with our marks, support each other, clear the ball effectively, and eliminate their opportunities by containing them instead of reaching in for the ball. It was outstanding.”

Tabor grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 25-minute mark on Jon Adrian’s fourth goal of the season.

“Grant Brubacher made a nice run across the top of the penalty area, drawing the defense and played a back-heel pass to Adrian, who slotted his shot home just inside the left post and wide of the keeper,” Wulf said.

“It was one of our nicest ‘build up’ goals of the year.”

Tabor added to its margin at the 75-minute mark when Chris Adrian put a ball on Brubacher’s head as he flew in from the weak side.

“It was a tremendous goal,” Wulf said. “Grant was nearly parallel with the ground and almost as high as the cross bar on the goal.”

Bethel attempted 19 shots in the game, but goal keeper Ian Tomson came through with 12 saves.

Tabor meanwhile, attempted 12 shots against Bethel.

The victory avenged an earlier 3-1 loss to the Threshers in Hillsboro in a non-conference affair.

“The longer Bethel went, the most frustrated we kept them and the more out of their game they got,” Wulf said.

With the victory, Tabor improved to 5-5 overall and 2-0 in KCAC play.

Sterling-Tabor defeated Sterling College in a non-conference match in Hillsboro on Thursday.

“We had a strong performance from Ryan Kelley and the rest of our defense,” coach Lincoln Wulf said. “Our midfield didn’t perform as well as we would have liked, but once we worked that out it was a passable performance.”

The Bluejays took a 1-0 lead with a goal by Chris Adrian-his second of the season-at the 30-minute mark.

“The first goal came off of a corner from Chris,” Wulf said. “We got in behind their defense with regularity and earned several corners.

“Chris fired a low, knuckling kick in and it banged off a defender and into the goal.”

Tabor added to its margin at the 70 minute mark of the second half when Kelley scored his second goal of the season.

“We had several free kicks and corner opportunities. Chris hit another low shot that fell into traffic and Ryan pounced on the loose ball and shot it off a defender and their keeper,” Wulf said. “It was just too hot to handle.”

Defensively, goal keeper Ian Tomson was credited with three saves.

“Ian was outstanding in the shutout,” Wulf said. “He came out and snagged every cross or corner they took.

“They never really had a close-range effort and, with our defense marked up, they had to take a handful of long-range efforts that Ian handled with ease.”

Wulf said the play of Grant Brubacher was a strong point for the Bluejays.

“He turned in another hard-working, take-it-to-the-enemy type of game,” he said. “We could have used him more intelligently…but we caused them enough fits up front that we kept them off balance and that allowed the opportunities for the two goals we got to develop.”

Tabor attempted 15 shots on goal while the Warriors managed just five.

Wulf said the team needed a victory after difficult games against Central Christian and Manhattan College.

“We sat down as a team and realized we were getting a solid performance from our keeper every game,” he said. “It really came down to marking responsibilities for our midfield and our defense.

“The focus of the game was for the defenders to stay with their marks first, take them out of the game and then worry about supporting our attack. For the most part it worked.”

With the victory, Tabor improved to 4-5.

Manhattan Christian-Tabor lost to Manhattan Christian College, the defending small-college national champions, 3-1, in the first of three games last week in Manhattan.

“The game was a tremendous letdown for us,” coach Lincoln Wulf said. “We came out fired up and passing the ball well, but we made two crucial errors in the first seven minutes and we were down two goals.”

Tabor answered with a goal by Grant Brubacher goal off an assist by Jon Adrian to cut the margin to 2-1 at halftime.

Wulf said Brubacher’s goal was the first allowed by MCC this season. MCC added a single tally in the second half.

“We feel, rightly so, that we could have beaten them if we had not given them two goals right away,” Wulf said. “For the balance of the game, we controlled the ball and forced their keeper into some great saves.

“MCC shared more talent in their starting 11 than us, but we played better as a team for the final 80 minutes,” he added. “It’s just a shame we had to spot them the lead.”

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