BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – In its last week of regular season play, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer team began with a 4-0 shutout win over conference foe the University of St. Francis (Ill.). The victory on Senior Night was their fourth straight and fifth in six tries for the Tigers, moving them into third in the conference standings.
Playing through muddy conditions, Olivet (10-4-3, 6-2-2) and St. Francis (3-14, 2-8) struggled to find footing until the Tigers converted in the 30th minute. The Saints defense broke down and Michael Da Silva (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) took advantage scoring his 11th goal of the year off an assist from Robby Gunderson (Downers Grove, Ill.). Neither team was able to find the net the rest of the first half keeping the score in ONU’s favor 1-0.
Soon after the second half started in the 53rd minute, senior Zak Christensen (Manteno, Ill.) celebrated Senior Night by scoring his first goal of the season from outside the 18. Only 12 minutes later Da Silva and Gunderson connected again to put ONU up 3-0. Da Silva leads the team with 12 goals, nine have come in the last six games. Gunderson is second on the team in points with 14.
The Tigers continued to push and finally made it a 4-0 lead after another Christensen goal after he cleaned up a senior Seth Arriaga (Richton Park, Ill.) assist.
In a lop-sided game in the shot column, the Tigers dominated pouring in 18 shots (14 on goal) compared to the Saints’ three. Senior goalkeeper Tim Walker (Grand Blanc, Mich.) started his fifth game and had one save in his four win in goal, recording his second shutout.
The Tigers finish regular season play Saturday, October 27 at home against St. Xavier University (Ill.) at 7 p.m.