By: Alan Brads
The Cedarville University men’s soccer team squeezed by the Trevecca Nazarene University Trojans 1-0 on September 15.
Jake Johnson netted the lone goal off a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.
As soon as the head referee blasted his whistle and pointed to the penalty mark, Johnson confidently strolled to his starting spot to take the kick.
“I went into the game already thinking about where I would put the penalty kick if we got one,” Johnson said. “I stuck with it and it worked out.”
Johnson launched the ball into the lower right of the goal. Trevecca’s goalkeeper, Adan Gonzalez, who otherwise had a stellar outing, dived to Johnson’s left, allowing the ball to cross the chalk unharmed.
120 yards from Gonzalez, Yellow Jacket goalkeeper Jared Zacharias pitched his fourth shutout of the season. His most impressive save took every inch of his 6’3” frame to deflect a rocket off the forehead of center back Zachary Polk.
To the common fan, it was far from a thrilling game.
The first half featured sloppy possession from both teams, defensive back lines staving off offensive attacks from the flanks, and the constant tentative tapping of five-gallon buckets from Cedarville’s student section.
Cedarville cleaned up their touch and possession in the second half. But even with a sharper edge to their play, they would be unable to score a goal off a live ball.
The teams combined for just six shots on goal, three of which resulted in routine saves from Zacharias or Gonzalez.
Yellow Jackets’ striker Mauricio Ochoa Vasquez has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, but Trevecca’s stout center backs marked him and prevented him from doing damage on the scoreboard.
“We are one of the top teams with a chance to win the GMAC.” Ochoa Vasquez said. “We learned tonight that we may not get many chances, so we have to score every time.”
Cedarville moves to 2-1-0 in the conference, and 4-1-1 overall, good enough for fourth place in the GMAC. A strong position in the early going, but one the Jackets hope to improve upon.
“If you look back through the history, Trevecca vs. Cedarville is always a tough game, tonight was no different,” head coach Brett Faro said. “But we’re happy to get this result tonight, and we just have to keep working and getting better.”
Alan Brads is a freshman journalism student and co-sports editor at Cedars. He enjoys playing the drums and speaking Spanish, and watches Buckeye football like his life depends on it.