August 30, 2019
SILOAM SPRINGS – After redshirting last season and missing the first two matches of 2019, senior striker Kelvin Omondi returned in determined fashion as he scored the game-winner, powering the John Brown University men’s soccer team past Bethel (Kan.), 2-0, on Friday (Aug. 30) evening at Alumni Field.
The match was never in doubt, as the Golden Eagles (3-0-0) continued to ask questions of the Bethel defense and keeper Albert Bratthammar all night long.
Bratthammar recorded nine saves in the first half, including point-blank chances on rebounds that could have given the hosts a lopsided advantage at the bathroom break. JBU out-shot the Threshers (0-2-0) by a 13-1 margin over the first 45 minutes of play.
Finally, shortly after the intermission in the 48th minute, Omondi’s much-anticipated return culminated in a dramatic rush up the field that saw the former Sooner Athletic Player of the Year pot his first goal since Oct. 24, 2017.
Freshman Jacob Zamarron kept the ball in play up the right sidelines and fed freshman Dalton Georgopulos up the field – allowing Georgopulos to flick a pass across the 18 to Omondi on the left wing. In typical fashion, Omondi danced around his defender and delivered a shot to the short side, breaking Bratthammar’s shutout bid and handing John Brown a 1-0 advantage.
Freshman Oscar Carballo nearly netted his second of the season in the 55th off a corner kick, but the Thresher defense was somehow able to keep the header off the goal line to maintain the slim 1-0 score.
En route to posting 15 shot attempts in the second half as a team, Zamarron again struck for his third goal in as many games in the 73rd. Sophomore Jack Bos earned his first collegiate point when his boot into space sprung loose Zamarron past his defender and in on Bratthammar all alone. As the Bethel keeper came out to challenge, Zamarron chipped a lovely ball over the leaping keeper and to the far left post and in – giving John Brown the insurance goal it was seeking.
Despite essentially no offense to speak of to help relieve him of pressure, Bratthammar continued to answer the call and keep the visitors competitive through the second half. The Golden Eagles also missed a few glorious chances, however, none bigger than junior Samuel Estrada’s effort to dance through the back line and deposit a shot to the far right post that just missed wide.
Senior Britt Wisener collected a pair of saves to post the squad’s first clean sheet of the season. Bos, sophomore Adrian Immel, freshman Matej Urbanija and junior Marcelo Mendes all turned in a full 90 minutes and limited Bethel to just four shot attempts.
Bratthammar finished the match with 13 saves, but was dinged with the loss despite the Herculean effort.
The Golden Eagles will take an eight-day break before returning to Alumni Field to welcome No. 20 Columbia for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Saturday (Sept. 7).