TC soccer teams blank O. Wesleyan

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
With both the men’s and women’s teams playing at home against Oklahoma Wesleyan on Thursday, the Tabor College soccer teams looked to improve their records in preparation for conference play.

The women had won its season opener, but came in at 1-3.

“We’ve been struggling because we’ve had a lot of injuries,” coach Herb Wiebe said. “We haven’t had the same starting lineup in consecutive games one time all year.”

With a stiff wind in the Bluejays’ favor in the first half, freshman Jessica Burden broke past the defense to run down a long feed from teammate Clancey Kelley, then danced around the keeper before scoring the game’s only goal.

Aubrey Whitehorn made the goal stand up through the second half, and defense lifted the team to its second victory of the season and first shutout in more than two years.

“Clancey Kelley is playing a lot better than she did last year, and our freshmen-Whitehorn and Burden-have really stepped up and are playing really well,” Wiebe said.

Burden has four goals so far, and Kelley has three assists.

“Tory Truesdale, Kelly White, Megan Schuckman and Sara Schall have made big contributions. So it’s hard to single anyone out when they’re all working hard and playing well and giving it everything they’ve got.”

A tie in the season opener and a 4-1 win over Central Baptist set the men’s season rolling in the right direction. But the team also struggled coming into the game against Oklahoma Wesleyan.

“They’ve been inconsistent this year,” Wiebe said. “I’d have to say that yesterday was the first day they came out and played well right out of the gate. We stayed focused the whole game.”

The men’s team also beat Oklahoma Wesleyan with a shutout, improving to 2-3-1.

“We’re definitely good enough to finish in the top six in our conference,” Wiebe said. “Our key guys are going to have to stay healthy for that to happen.

“The same thing could be said about the girls. If they can get healthy and stay that way for the rest of the year, I think (both teams) can make the playoffs.”

On Saturday, both teams finished their non-conference schedules with losses to Avila.

The men’s team lost 2-1.

“We did not play well,” Wiebe said. “We had a lead and gave up an own goal with 1:10 left in the first half.

“In the second half we had a lot of possesion, but kept turning it over in the attacking a third of the field.”

The women’s team lost 5-1 but, according to Wiebe, “played well considering how short-handed (they were).”

The statistical leaders for the men’s team going in to conference play are Andy Adrian (two goals, three assists), Justin Moss (three goals), Silas Hibbs (two goals) and Chris Adrian (one goal, three assists).

Both teams will open conference play on the road against Bethel Sept. 27. The men play at 5 p.m. and the women are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

Both teams will also play on the road against Sterling on Saturday afternoon. Action starts with the women’s game at 1 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 3 p.m.

Both teams will travel to Winfield to play Southwestern on Monday night, with games starting at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

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