ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor men’s soccer team dropped a 3-2 decision to Friends Monday afternoon in Hillsboro.
Tabor trailed 2-1 at halftime, with the Bluejays’ goal coming off the foot of Grant Brubacher with an assist by Chris Adrian.
Tabor tied the game in the second half on another Brubacher goal, this time with an assist from Jon Adrian.
Friends scored the winning goal on a controversial penalty kick at the 85-minute mark.
With the loss, Tabor falls to 7-8-1 overall and 5-3 in KCAC play.
York College-Tabor settled for a 1-1 tie Saturday in Nebraska.
“This was our best-played 90 minutes of the year, by far,” coach Lincoln Wulf said. “There has been so much pressure on us to win each of our conference games that it was almost relaxing to step outside of the conference and play a good team.”
Wulf said York started five strong foreign players.
“They had pretty much destroyed all of their KCAC opponents” Wulf said, including an 8-0 win over Kansas Wesleyan, 4-1 over Bethany 4-1 and 5-1 over McPherson 5-1.
“We started strong and actually had many chances to put the game away,” he said.
York scored its lone goal at the 20-minute mark.
Tabor tied the game in the second half when Grant Brubacher scored on a break away. His shot hit one post and then the crossbar.
“John Adrian also hit the crossbar and Kenton Schroeder hit one off the post as well,” Wulf said. “Our defense was strong again. Ryan Kelley was just amazing in the back, as he has been all year. Ian (Tomson) turned in another phenomenal game.”
Ottawa-The Bluejays lost to Ottawa Thursday in double overtime, 2-1.
“We came out a little slow,” coach Lincoln Wulf said. “But we settled down quickly and in spite of what I thought was a traditionally cheap Ottawa team, we held them for most of the half and had a couple chances ourselves,” he added. “They did catch us getting lazy with our marks in the final minutes of the first half and they put one in off the post.”
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Wulf told his midfielders it was their job to step up the intensity.
“I told them if they did that, we’d be right back in the game,” he said. “They did just they, playing an exceptional second half and overtime.”
Tabor finally got the break it needed when Grant Brubacher was taken down hard in the penalty area on a break away.
“It should have been a red card,” Wulf said. “By rule, if the last defender takes down the attacking player on a break away it’s automatic red. But the referee just gave a yellow and Jon Adrian buried the penalty kick into the back of the goal.”
Wulf said he was pleased with the leadership of his field leaders-Ian Tomson, Jon Adrian, Ryan Kelley and Grant Brubacher.
“They were just outstanding throughout the match,” he said.
Coming-Tabor plays its final regular-season game at Sterling Saturday. Game time is 11 a.m.