KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Sabercats couldn't have started today's game any better, but they leave it on the other end of the emotional spectrum.
With a 4-1 loss to #1 Randall University, the Sabercats are eliminated from the national championship but will have one more game tomorrow against #4 Pensacola.
- Result: #5 Maranatha 1-4 #1 Randall
- Venue: Austin-Tindall Regional Park
- Location: Kissimmee, Fla.
- Attendance: 100
- Records: MBU (8-8-2), RU (15-4-0)
The two teams had barely sat down on the bench before Maranatha opened the scoring. A beautifully weighted pass from Tyler Nelson sent Eldiiar Amankulov in for a breakaway, and the senior made no mistake, burying his finish into the top corner. Dream start.
But the Sabercats' ecstasy was put in check just three minutes later, as Jared Day made some space for himself at the top of the Sabercats' box before firing low into the corner to equalize the game. Not even five minutes into the game, there were already two goals.
Unfortunately for the neutral spectators, the scoring died there for the rest of the first half. Randall created more chances, but Tim Kinzler made seven saves in the first half to keep Maranatha in the game.
All that pressure from Randall began to pay off in the second half, as it took Randall just six minutes to take the lead in the game. Given Gbode created and finished it, as he curled his shot into the right corner of the goal from just inside the box.
Brayden Carter did the rest of the work for the Saints, as he added a third in the 65th minute before capping the scoring just five minutes from the end of the game.
Heading into tomorrow, the Sabercats will have one more 90-minute game to make the most of for the 2019 season.
MBU Starters: 1- Kinzler, 2- Risma (C), 4- Roer, 7- Nelson, 8- Campbell, 10-St. Lawrence (C), 12- Steuerwald, 13- Amankulov, 15- J. Hockema, 18- Shepard, 19- C. Hockema (C)
- Shot count: Maranatha 6-27 Randall
- Amankulov: second career goal. Now has two goals and an assist this season
- Nelson: 8 assists this season, now has 16 career assists
- MBU: put 5 out of 6 shots on target
- Kinzler: 10 saves on the day
- Series: This was the first matchup in the series
- Randall competes in the NCCAA DII Southwest Region.
- Randall finished the regular season with a 12-3 record.
- Randall won their NCCAA region this year for the first time ever.
- Randall took a 3-2 overtime loss to #4 Pensacola yesterday.
POOL A OUTLOOK
The Sabercats will face #4 Pensacola tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Game details are at mbusabercats.com/schedule.