Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles snapped #25 Mary Hardin-Baylor's eight match win streak and handed the Cru their first American Southwest Conference loss with a 2-0 victory Saturday in Belton, Texas.
Philip Johnson ignited the Eagles (8-4-0, 4-3-0) with a goal in the 23rd minute off an assist from Anthony Santoro. Santoro lofted a free kick from 40 yards out toward goal and Johnson made the most of his only shot in the match by heading it past the keeper. The Eagles added an insurance goal when Scott Janders scored ten minutes later. Aaron Brueckner, who found Janders open at midfield, received the assist. Janders went between two defenders and scored from 25 yards out.
“The whole team played phenomenal,” said head coach John Cossaboon. “It wasn’t just one individual player, it was a total team effort. It was a great road win in front of a hostile crowd and this win will sustain our momentum. We knew we were the underdog and had nothing to lose. After scoring we continued to play well, and that was something this team didn’t do early in the season.”
The shutout remained intact through the second half despite the Cru (9-2-0, 7-1-0) recording five corner kicks and eight shots. Neil Thompson was credited with the shutout and had one save in goal for Ozarks.
“The team did a great job defensively,” said senior defender and captain Aaron Brueckner. “And, we were able to capitalize on our chances on offense. Our goal was to come out 2-0 this weekend and we used that as motivation for today.”
Ozarks will end regular season play by hosting four of their final six matches at Hurie Field.
“This team is just starting to come together in terms of playing for each other,” said Cossaboon. “The players are beyond seeing individual accomplishments, and are now realizing how much more effective we are when they play with and for each other. I expect us to keep playing well. The mentality of this team right now is good.”