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Huntington men's soccer advances with 4-1 win

- Article provided by Huntington University

MEN’S SOCCER

The hunt for a second consecutive Crossroads League championship continues with the second-seeded Forester men’s soccer team’s 4–1 win over seventh-seeded St. Francis (7–12) Saturday afternoon at King Stadium. Saturday’s match was the quarterfinals of the league tournament with the W sending HU on to the semifinals while the loss brings an end to the Cougars’ season.

Huntington was quick to take control of the day thanks to Caleb Sexton who rocketed a free kick back netting less than three minutes into the match. The goal is Sexton’s fourth of the year. The freshman midfielder was just getting started as he found Ben Arnold in the 34th minute after drawing the defense up to orchestrate the easy tap-in for his teammate.

The 2–0 lead held through intermission but Sexton had one more point in him, this time assisting Luke Unger at the 53:33 mark. It was assist No. 10 for Sexton while the goal was the seventh time Unger has found back netting this year. With less than seven minutes remaining, Christian Kohen put the finishing touches on HU’s scoring with another easy tap-in for his sixth goal of the season.

With under two minutes left, the Cougars finally cracked Huntington’s defense compliments of Jacob Woodruff to deny Gabe Greenfield and company the shutout. HU finished with 29 shots, 16 of which were on target, to USF’s four.

“After having a 10-day break, I thought the boys responded well,” said Coach Lawson. “Our execution of the game was encouraging. We did a nice job of solving St. Francis’s defense.

“The boys earned the right to play another week. I’m proud of their effort and we’re excited to be moving on.”

With this win, the Foresters improve to 13–4–2 on the year. Thirteen wins is the most in program history since 1989 when Huntington posted a 20–5 record. The semifinal matchup will feature No. 2 HU against No. 3 Bethel at King Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m. while the other side of the bracket will see top-seeded Spring Arbor host No. 4 Mt. Vernon Nazarene.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The RV Huntington women’s basketball team cruised past Cornerstone University 77–52 Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena to remain perfect on the year at 2–0. Play opened up with senior Sarah Fryman hitting two freebies right off the bat to make for an outing where the Foresters never trailed.

The Golden Eagles knotted things up at 2–2 but it was all HU after that. Culler’s crew enjoyed their first double-digit advantage three and a half minutes in on Jade Clement’s second long ball of the day. Fryman’s put back three minutes later solidified a permanent double-digit lead that extended to 18, 25–7, by the first break.

Huntington grew the lead to 45–22 by recess behind Fryman’s 21 points. The 5-foot-9 forward was active on the glass, tracking down six offensive boards in the half to the tune of ten points. She would go on to finish the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds, both of which were game-highs. She also handed out three assists and nabbed a steal in her 27 minutes of action.

The Golden Eagles played even with the Foresters in the second half but the damage had already been done as 18 points would be as close as things would get after intermission on the way to HU’s 25-point victory.

In addition to Fryman’s 27 points, Clement connected on four of her six triples to post 12 points. Maddy Robrock offered 10 points off the bench to go along with three rebounds and two blocks. After a quiet first half, Alexandria Bope added eight points in the final 20 minutes. After all the dust settled, twelve Foresters put points on the board.

Huntington’s floor general Sam Hammel handed out six dimes and swiped four steals to enjoy game-high honors in both categories.

As a team, the hosts shot 50.0% (31-for-62) from the field and 71.4% (10-for-14) from the charity stripe. HU outrebounded Cornerstone 38–29 which included corralling 14 offensive boards for 20 points.

Cornerstone, 1–5 on the year, was paced by Rebekah Crosby’s 18 points. All five of CU’s losses this season have been to Crossroads League opponents.

Culler and crew hit the road on Tuesday to face Holy Cross at 7 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL

Seniors Paige Eakright and Elaine Bredensteiner played for the last time in Platt Arena Saturday afternoon but it wasn’t how the pair and the rest of the HU volleyball team wanted the day to go as they suffered a 3–0 loss, 25–23, 25–14, 25–15, to fourth-ranked Indiana Wesleyan (30–1, 16–1).

The Foresters came out ready to go toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s best. Behind six kills from Eakright, Huntington logged 17 kills to IWU’s 14 in the opening set. While HU proved a handful for their visitors, the Wildcats still found a way to get the job done to deny their hosts the early upset.

Of that first set, Herber was elated with the play of her team. “Remember when I said the first two sets against Marian were the best we have ever played? I change my mind. How we came out against IWU today was by far the best volleyball we’ve played all season. I am proud of the way we stepped on the floor with a fearless mentality.”

Unfortunately, the Wildcats came out with guns ablazing in the next two sets to make quick work of their hosts.

“Indiana Wesleyan did a good job of making adjustments and we then struggled in sets two and three to swing around their block,” noted Herber. The Wildcats finished with 11 blocks to HU’s two.

Eakright posted a team-high nine kills to lead the Foresters. Lindsay Ingenito tallied six while four other Foresters added four kills apiece. Jennings Tacosik collected 21 assists. Defensively, Ariene Butler and Eakright paced HU with 18 and 11 digs respectively.

Of her seniors, Herber had this to say. “It was a blast celebrating Elaine and Paige today. I may be their coach, but they have taught me so much about what it looks like to love and care for others the way Jesus does.

“We will miss them dearly but are grateful for the impact they’ve had on our program. There will come a time where they are no longer listed on our roster, but they will always be a part of this family.”

Huntington (14–18, 6–11) wraps up the regular season on Wednesday with a road trip to Grace.