For Central Christian College and Bethel’s soccer teams, 4-2 was the score of the day on Tuesday.
The Tiger women defeated the Threshers 4-2, but the Thresher men returned the favor with a 4-2 success.
It was the season opener for both Tiger teams.
• Central Christian women 4, Bethel 2 — The Tigers saw a 2-0 lead get away as Bethel scored successive goals, but the Tigers were undeterred as they scored two more goals for the victory.
Naime Barba scored Central’s first two goals, with assists by Shannon Huesca and Rachel Meier.
Meier then got into the act with the two Central goals in the second half. Kaitlyn Bevel had an assist on one of the goals.
“There were a lot of positives to take away from this game" Central coach Scott Fogarty said. “But a lot of negatives as well, especially the last 15 minutes of the first half. We got up 2-0 early and then completely lost our focus. We stopped being first to every ball or closing players down and we got lazy in possession. We basically let them back into the game by gifting them two goals and that's something we absolutely cannot afford this season. We need better for 90 minutes. We talked at halftime about the youthful mistakes we made last year that can be put down to a loss of focus, but this year things are going to have to change. As always, we grow from it. Learn from it, but I have to remind myself we did get the win."
Central is on the road Friday to play at Northwestern College, then stays in Iowa on Saturday to play Dordt College.
• Bethel men 4, Central Christian 2 — Much-improved Bethel avenged last year’s loss by doubling the Tigers.
Bethel scored three of its goals via the penalty kick, one of them just 5 minutes into the game.
“I thought that the penalty 5 minutes into the game really fed into their style of play,” Central coach Aaron Hoxie said. “It really energized them and it was inevitable that a second goal was going to come quickly after. Not surprisingly, we got a makeup penalty and equalized. That cooled things for a few minutes, and another close chance to take the lead, but that chance went begging. Immediately after we were guilty of a turnover, and then a second goal. A second penalty a few minutes later, and that was just how the game was going for us."
Lucas Braga and Joshua Taylor scored goals for Central, Braga’s on a PK. Jason Arias assisted Taylor’s goal.
“Hard to say they are better overall, but I will admit that they were better than us today,” Hoxie said. “They were more prepared than we were, had more experience, were better organized, and played their system flawlessly. Congrats to Bethel."
Central plays Saturday at Ozark Christian College.