The Eagle men finished up their season this past weekend at the ACCA National Tournament. The Eagles advanced to the championship with a thrilling 3-2 win over Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College before falling in the final to Dallas Christian. Faith finished the year 13-6-1.
The Eagles faced Hillsdale Freewill Baptist (OK) in the ACCA National Semifinals. Faith started fast as Josh Bray was able to get in behind the Saints defense and beat the goalkeeper in the 5th minute. The lead was short-lived as Hillsdale was able to tie the game four minutes later. With five minutes left in the half Hillsdale's top player and ACCA All-American, Sheldon Spelman, took a quick shot from nearly 30 yards from goal and against a strong wind was able to put the ball in the back corner of the net to give them a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Faith came out of the break strong as Tui Hunkin chipped a ball over the Saints defense on the the foot of Josh Bray who was fouled from behind in the box giving the Eagles a penalty kick in the 61st minute. Hunkin stepped up and smashed the ball past the goalkeeper who did not even have time to react to ball. Two minutes later as the Eagles were continuing to pressure Hillsdale, Joseph Frerichs took a hard shot that was saved but Bray followed it and put in the rebound to put Faith up 3-2. The Eagles were able to hold on for the comeback semifinal win.
The Eagles faced a very strong Dallas Christian College (TX) in the finals. Faith had another great start as they were able to score in the second minute. Josh Bray threw the ball in to Tui Hunkin who was making a near-post run and headed it past the keeper. The Eagles defended well for the next 35 minutes until Dallas' leading scorer, Eric Mango, was able to find just enough space to put a goal in as they started to take the momentum through the break and into the second half. In the 52nd minute Dallas served a ball to the back post that Mango was able to head in despite being man-marked. Dallas was able to get a third goal off a rebound in the 60th minute.
After the third goal the Eagles regrouped and played some of their best soccer of the season, but it was too little too late as Dallas packed their defense in tight and simply cleared balls out of bounds for the remaining 10 minutes. Faith's best chance in the final minutes came off a shot from Joseph Frerichs that left the goalkeeper standing flat-footed as it came just inches from going in the back corner of the net. The Eagles fought hard but were forced to settle for ACCA National Runner-Up.