On Saturday, the Men’s Soccer team will close out non-conference play against a non-NAIA opponent. The Golden Eagles will host Dallas Christian College, which competes in NCCAA Division II, before beginning play against SAC opponents next week.
The Eagles will look for their 4th win of the season after going 3-2-1 in non-conference play thus far.
John Miglarese, head coach, said that early season games are for more than just wins.
“These games are important as we put the last little touches on how we play going into conference games,” said Miglarese. “These non-conference games have given us a chance to prepare ourselves for the grind of the conference.”
The 3-2-1 Eagles will enter conference play with the fifth best record in the SAC.
JBU also ranked fifth in the nine-team conference in a preseason coaches’ poll.
Miglarese said winning at home is critical to the team’s success in conference play.
Last Saturday John Brown lost a contentious game to Benedictine (Kan.) 1-0, with the lone goal coming from a diving header off the post by Junior Joe Sbarro in the 35th minute.
It was JBU’s first home loss of the season.
JBU amassed eight fouls and three yellow cards in a very physical game in which they were outshot 9-3.
“There’s no doubt we played with a lot of heart and passion, we just weren’t able to capitalize on our chances,” said Miglarese.
“We kept up our fight the whole time.”
The Golden Eagles were looking to avenge a 3-0 loss last year in which they were outshot 13-3.
The team has gone winless in their last three games after dropping a 1-0 decision to MidAmerica Nazarene on Tuesday.
The Pioneers are ranked 8th in the NAIA Coaches Poll.
In that game, MNU scored the lone tally in the 31st minute, a goal by senior forward Trent Remmich.
“We came out pretty slow,” said Chris Soenksen.
He elaborated that after a stagnant first half, the team played strong in the second half.
“Despite a lot of chances, we didn’t score,” said Soenksen.
Along with a win, Miglarese wants to see indications that the team is playing at a high level.
“We want to have momentum and we want to be scoring goals and preventing them as well,” said Miglarese.
“We played two really good teams that we could have beaten but didn’t,” said Soenksen. “We need to come out more prepared for our games coming up.”
The Eagles will have a chance to go into conference play with a win vs. Dallas Christian on Saturday.
The game will be at 3 p.m. at Alumni Field.