From Harding University
After nearly eight inches of rain fell in Searcy over the weekend, the Harding men's soccer team will finally have a chance to play its home opener Monday against John Brown. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Harding Soccer Field.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday evening, but the rain made the field unplayable.
Harding (1-0) has a chance for its best start in program history after defeating Williams Baptist 2-1 on Thursday in Walnut Ridge, Ark. The Bisons have never won their first two games of a season since the program began intercollegiate competition in 2000.
The victory Thursday was the first in the head coaching career of Harding's Odie Guzman, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Lubbock Christian University.
Harding fell behind early against Williams Baptist, giving up a goal on a corner kick in the 7th minute. Still trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Bisons rallied with a goal in the 55th minute. Junior Ryan Wilhelm scored his sixth career goal on Shea McGee's corner kick. Wilhelm then sent in a cross that Jackson Savage finished in the 84th minute for Savage's second career game-winning goal.
Harding limited Williams Baptist to only three shots on goal, the fewest since allowing three to Rust College in 2008. Bison starting goalkeeper Will Lynn had to leave the game after just seven minutes when he suffered an ankle injury. Freshman Chase Keeney replaced Lynn but did not have to make a save over the final 83 minutes of the game.
John Brown, a member of the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference located in Siloam Springs, Ark., is off to a perfect 2-0 start. The Eagles have home wins over Bacone (5-1) and Missouri Baptist (3-1). John Miglarese is in his fourth season as head coach at John Brown.
Harding and John Brown have split the four previous meetings between the teams. The Eagles won last season's game 1-0 when John Brown's Luke Theimer broke a scoreless tie with an 87th minute goal. Harding's offensive attack was erratic, as the Bisons managed to get only two of 13 shots on-goal.
The John Brown game is the first of two at home for Harding this week. The Bisons will host Ouachita Baptist on Friday at 5 p.m., before embarking on a four-game road trip beginning next Wednesday at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark.