Faith Places 3rd in Conference Tournament

Faith Places 3rd in Conference Tournament

On October 26-28 the men's soccer team participated in the Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament. On the first day of the tournament the men faced off against Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO). The Eagles tied Ozark 1-1 in there only meeting earlier in the season.

The Eagles controlled the game right from the start, and 7 minutes into the game Caleb Sturgis got the scoring started for the Eagles off of a low cross from Jordan Schmidt. Then about 17 minutes later Jordan Schmidt got a goal of his own to put the Eagles up 2 goals to none, which was how the half would end.

The 2nd half was much the same as the first with Faith controlling the ball and the tempo of the game. Just 4 minutes into the half the Eagles increased their lead yet again when Oleg Orlovs got a through ball from Joseph Frerichs and put it in the back of the net. Then 15 minutes later Jacob Stilwell scored his first collegiate goal to give the Eagles a 4-0 advantage over Ozark.

The convincing win moved the Eagles into the semi-final where they would play Emmaus Bible College (Dubuque, IA). The two teams split earlier in the season with each team winning on their home field. Both teams came out aggressively and with lots of energy looking to grab an early lead. Faith had multiple opportunities to score in the half, including a play where Oleg Orlov got behind the defense for a one-on-one shot with the keeper. The Emmaus keeper made a nice save, and despite multiple opportunities by both sides to take the lead, the score stayed tied at 0-0 through the first half of play. Faith did suffer a setback when part way through the half, starting midfielder and captain, Joseph Frerichs went down with an ankle injury. Joseph would not return to the game. 

In the second half the game turned very physical as both teams were trying to break down each other's defenses and get a goal. Each team had their opportunities but the score remained unchanged until the 78th minute when the Eagles got called for a hand ball in the box which resulted in a penalty kick. Emmaus capitalized on the opportunity and took a 1-0 lead. With just over 10 minutes left in the game Faith had a few more chances to get the equalizer but they ended up falling short. The 0-1 loss put Faith in the third place matchup against Barclay College (Barclay, KS). 

After the heartbreaking loss the day before, the Eagles came out looking to rebound and conclude the conference tournament with a win and third place finish. The Eagles would be without starting goalie Jason Scheps and midfielder Joseph Frerichs for the game. Despite being down several players due to injury, Faith responded well as a team, and many young guys stepped up to make the most of their opportunity. Just a minute and a half into the match Jordan Schmidt put the first goal in the back of the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Eagles continued to control the game through the first half and added to their lead right before the end of the first when Oleg Orlov scored the second goal of the game off an assist from Joey Young.

In the second half the game stayed pretty quiet until the final 15 minutes of play when Faith would put together an onslaught of offensive opportunities. In the 76th minute Jordan Schmidt increased the Eagle lead again with his second goal of the game. Then just 10 minutes later Jordan Schmidt returned the favor to his teammate by assisting on Joey Young's goal and giving the Eagles the 4-0 lead. With just 1 minute left in the game, Jordan Schmidt completed the hat trick off an assist from Justin Frerichs and sealed the win with a final score of 5-0.

The Eagles took home the 3rd place plaque for the third straight year. Sophomore Andrew Baldwin was named to the MCCC All-Conference second team along with goalie Jason Scheps. Senior Joey Young was named 1st Team All-Conference along with sophomore forward Oleg Orlov. In addition to being named to the first team, senior Joseph Frerichs was awarded conference MVP.

Faith will prepare next for the NCCAA North Region Tournament, which takes place next weekend at Emmaus Bible College.