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Men’s soccer competes in spring season games

The ORU men’s soccer team wrapped up its spring season April 7 against the England Select U-21 team with a 3-0 win at the Case Soccer Complex.

The Golden Eagles are using the spring season to build on the success of the Summit League Championship last year. The team played a competitive schedule against pro teams from around the area.

The season finale against England Select U-21 gave the Golden Eagles their third and final win of the spring season. Head Coach Ryan Bush said the competitive challenges granted him a chance to evaluate his team.

“The guys worked extremely hard this spring,” Bush said. “The level of competition we were playing against afforded us an opportunity to get a look at some guys in different spots.”

Center-backs Isaac Fraley and Kevin Machado received a lot of attention as replacements for graduating seniors: Casey Cantor, Wayne Farmer and Griffith Poindexter. Bush said both players performed well during spring play.

ORU took advantage of the variety of local area talent. They traveled to Oklahoma City to face Oklahoma City University on March 28, defeating the Stars 3-1.

The Golden Eagles finished in a 3-3 tie with crosstown rival University of Tulsa on April 4. The match was the second consecutive spring game against the Golden Hurricane ending in a tie.

The highlight of the spring season consisted of three games played against pro competition.

ORU defeated the National Premier team Tulsa Athletics early in the spring at the old Drillers stadium in convincing fashion with a 4-1 victory.

The Golden Eagles played two close matches against Tulsa’s new USLPro team, the Tulsa Roughnecks. ORU lost 2-1 and 1-0 after detrimental penalty kicks.

ORU sophomore Matthew Rogers played well in the spring season with a goal in the season finale and a two-goal performance against the Golden Hurricane.

“The team played with greater confidence, and it’s something we want to establish come next August,” Rogers said. “Good performances by myself and my teammates sets the tone for the younger guys in the program and establishes the style we want to cultivate at ORU.”

Establishing consistentcy against top talent during the spring season is something Bush hopes will continue. He believes it will lead the program to greater success down the road.

“Playing pro talent is a big deal, and we are going to continue that,” Bush said. “It’s going to help us to continue to produce professionals and get guys to the next level. Overall, we had a very good spring, and we think we are set to be very, very good next year.”

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