Loss to number 3 prepares men’s soccer for SAC

After a hard fight, the men’s soccer team lost to Benedictine, who is ranked third in the nation on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles were ahead 2-1 in the first half, then fell in the second half, closing the game in a 2-4 loss.

Coach Scott Marksberry is still impressed with his teams’ efforts.

“I thought we played really well,” Marksberry said. “We were missing a couple of guys that would have been very useful on the field, and we had a couple that we had to pull early on to prevent injuries going into the conference games.”

The team played at Benedictine’s field in Atchison, Kan.

Considering that, sophomore Logan Hellinghausen believes his team performed well.

“For traveling as far as we did and playing in front of a crazy crowd, I thought we put together a solid performance,” Hellinghausen said. “I think we played great as a team, and we completed the most passes yet this season in a game.”

“I think we were the better team,” Marksberry said. “They had good players, but as a whole, we were a better team.”

Marksberry counts the loss as a learning experience heading into the SAC games.

“We’re 4-4 right now, three of our four losses coming from teams that are ranked in the top-15 in the country,” Marksberry said. “We now know what those teams look like.”

None of the teams in JBU’s conference are ranked in the top-15, which gives the Golden Eagles high hopes for success.

“In our non-conference schedule, we’ve seen everything,” Marksberry said. “We’ve played with the top teams. Now it’s just a matter of delivering the results.”

“We need to get better at managing small details for the whole 90 minutes,” Hellinghausen said.

Now is the time for the Golden Eagles to show off their hard work.

“It’s not as much about learning anymore; it’s about performing,” Marksberry said.

Naturally, the team hopes to see their fellow students and fans continuing to support them.

“It’s hard to get excited and pumped for a game when there is no one supporting you,” Hellinghausen said. “It gives you a sense of confidence that is so important to all of the players.”

The men will travel to Shawnee, Okla., this coming Saturday to play their conference opener against St. Gregory’s. The match will begin at 3 p.m.