Both the men and women’s teams, the John Brown University soccer season came to an end last week in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament.
The men ended their season with a tough 4-0 loss against Science and Arts of Oklahoma, who would go on to win the SAC tournament.
Captain Eli Simonsen said of the game versus Science and Arts, “Our last game was tough. We lost heavily in the semi-final tournament, and it was really hard to go out that way. I think we deserved more. Throughout the entire season, we never lost with more than a single goal, and we played some very good teams.”
Despite the loss, the team can look back on a successful run after beginning the season with three straight losses. Simonsen pointed to wins against then No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 13 Benedictine Kansas as illustrative of the team’s success this year.
Of the season, Simonsen said, “Overall, I think we had a very good season with a lot of success, a tough start and many challenges both on and off the field. As a player and team captain, I’m really proud of how everyone grew as a player this season and more importantly, as a person. JBU soccer will bounce back stronger than ever next year.”
The JBU women’s soccer team made their championship appearance following a hard fought win against No. 23 Science and Arts of Oklahoma. The women played with 30-40mph wind against them for the first half, which aided eight Science and Arts shots on goal to JBU’s two.
With the wind at their backs during the second half, JBU’s women took advantage of the situation.
Coach Paulsen said of the game, “It was insane. We were essentially just trying to weather the wind against us the first half, and when we got it at our backs, we went at them.”
The women’s season came to close against Oklahoma Baptist in the SAC tournament championship match after a successful free kick by the OBU Bison.
It was the women’s second SAC Conference championship appearance in two consecutive seasons. In an interview with Nicholas Robinson for the JBU athletics site, Paulsen had excellent things to say of her team’s final game of the season: “We hope in something so much greater that could never be defined by a win or a loss. I told them that if we did our very best and we sought to honor God in it, that is enough, and that is the true victory. I think we achieved that today.”