ANKENY, Iowa -- It was the first leg of a home-and-home, and Maranatha started things off right with a 4-1 win at Faith Baptist Bible College today.
It was the Sabercats' fourth straight win, and they have now outscored their opponents 21-2 in their last four games.
- Result: Maranatha 4-1 Faith Baptist
- Venue: Pyche Field, Faith Baptist Bible College
- Location: Ankeny, Iowa
- Attendance: 122
- Records: MBU (7-5-1), FBBC (4-4-0)
MBU got things going right away, as Amy Montgomery scored with a brave finish in the fifth minute. After Alexis Sponable sent Montgomery into the box, the freshman had her first shot denied with a fine save from Lyndi Shepard, but Montgomery followed up and finished her rebound just before Shepard could recover. Maranatha had the start they were looking for.
The second goal came just five minutes later when a well-placed pass from Alison Hernandez caused trouble for the Eagles' back line. After a missed Eagle clearance, Jaclyn Dahl dribbled wide of the Faith keeper and finished into the roof of the net from an awkward angle.
The third goal was a textbook set piece. It came off of a corner kick, as Sarah Bagin's hard-hit cross to the near post was met by a hard-charging Alison Hernandez, who crashed a header to the near post to extend the lead to three. The Sabercats were flying.
But the Eagles effectively offset the Sabercats' momentum in the 22nd minute, when Lydia Trygstad finished from close range off a cross from Laura Christensen. The commanding start from Maranatha now had less of a bite to it, so it seemed.
The Eagles strengthened their defensive effort in the second half, as they kept the Sabercats frustrated all the way until the 87th minute. Shepard was tasked with making 12 saves in the game, and most came in the second act. The second-half breakthrough finally came when Angel Steuerwald passed inside to Hannah Evans, who launched a 25-yard effort just under the crossbar. The freshman is making long shots a habit, as she has scored three of her four goals this season from outside the area.
Hannah Wells did her part as well, as the MBU goalkeeper made seven saves in the contest.
After 90 minutes of spirited action, the Sabercats had secured their fourth win in a row, and their second win in regional play this season.
"It's always a pleasure to share the field with Brandon and the Eagles," said Coach Dave Anderson. "They are some of the nicest people you will find. As far as between the lines, our team leaders really brought it today. The girls battled through some tough field conditions to pull out the win. There is plenty to learn from this match in how we approached the game tactically. We will continue to refine as we look forward to meeting Faith on our turf in two weeks."
- Shot count: MBU 22-10 FBBC
- Steuerwald: first career assist
- Bagin: first point this season
- Dahl: has now scored or assisted in four straight games
- Montgomery: has now scored in two consecutive games
- Series: Maranatha now leads the series, 5-0-0
- The Eagles join the Sabercats in competing for the NCCAA North Region
- Faith has recorded NCCAA wins against Manhattan Christian and Lincoln Christian this season
- FBBC will come to Watertown on Saturday, October 27 to face Maranatha
The Sabercats return home to conclude the regular season with two matches. The first is Friday against Edgewood at 3:30 p.m. Follow live at mbusabercats.com/composite.