WATERTOWN, Wis. -- The Sabercats were in control from start to finish this afternoon, as they made an opening statement with a 3-0 win in the NCCAA North Regional Tournament.
With the win, the Sabercats advance to the semifinals to face #1 Providence University College tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in a rematch of last year's regional championship.
- Result: #4 Maranatha 3-0 #5 Faith
- Venue: Maranatha Baptist University
- Location: Watertown, Wis.
- Attendance: 184
- Records: MBU (6-12-0, 4-1-0 NCCAA), FBBC (7-8-3, 6-7-2 NCCAA)
The Sabercats announced their intentions right from the start, as they kept the ball in the Faith end for the better part of the first half. After a couple of early chances that were saved by Daniel Moore in the Eagles' goal, Nathan Campbell made the breakthrough with a hard-hit strike to the lower-right corner from just inside the box. Campbell's goal came after some hard work from Zeke Steuerwald, who set it up from the left side of the box.
At the other end of the field, Tim Kinzler made a diving save and a stand-up catch to keep the Eagles off the scoresheet. Maranatha would end up out-shooting the Eagles in the first half, 20-2.
In the second half, it took the Sabercats just 15 minutes to break through. A corner kick from Kyle Cummins found Steuerwald, who headed it towards goal. A Faith defender deflected Steuerwald's nod, and Caleb Hockema crashed in, heading home the rebound for his first collegiate goal.
Hockema's goal rekindled the Sabercats' fire, and Steuerwald put the finishing touches on both his man-of-the-match performance and the Sabercats' win. After Stephen Roer found space in the midfield, he played it into the path of Steuerwald, who made no mistake after dribbling into the Faith box. As Moore came sliding out, Steuerwald placed his finish over the oncoming keeper and into the back of the net.
Faith displayed their characteristic resolve until the final whistle, but they couldn't find a breakthrough. At the end of 90 minutes, the Sabercats had secured the shutout, the win, and a semifinal ticket.
- Steuerwald: notched 8 shots, 1 goal, and 2 assists
- Campbell: 5 shots, 3 on target
- Kinzler: first career shutout
- Shot count: MBU 29-7 FBBC
- Series: MBU leads the series, 5-1-0
- The Eagles recently took 3rd place at the Midwest Christian College Conference Championship
- The Eagles held a 2-4-1 record in NCCAA regional play this season
- Chase Clark led the Eagles with 7 goals on the season
The Sabercats advance to play #1 Providence University College tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. for the semifinal match. Follow at mbusabercats.com/composite.