NORTH NEWTON, Kan. - Any forecast calling for a thunderstorm in Thresher Stadium was quickly corrected tonight as a tremendous hail-storm rolled through, the size of threshing stones. The Bethel College Threshers rolled to an easy 6-0 home opening victory over the Manhattan Christian College Thunder. Five different Threshers scored during the game, as the team made everything look easy during all ninety minutes of action.
The metaphorical clouds began to move in during the first half, as the Bethel attack began to set itself up. A goal during the 9th minute by Joshua Clay (JR/Escondido, Calif.) gave the Threshers the 1-0 lead, as he was setup nicely by Chris Torres (JR/Denton, Texas).
Bethel was in the driver's seat for most of the first half, as the amount of possession time definitely favored the Threshers. Bethel sent absolute strikes at Jacob Baldree, the goalie of Manhattan Christian, as he did his best to help the Thunder from being pelted during this hail storm of shots and emotions.
It was no use however, as Bethel was able to find the back of the net once again late in the first half. A nasty (in a good way) kick by Jonas Tingberg (FR/Gothenburg, Sweden) from the far right side bent the law of physics and somehow squeezed into the goal for the 2-0 lead.
Bethel took six shots in the first 45 minutes, but the storm warning was far from over, and shelter was nowhere to be found for Manhattan Christian.
During the 64th minute, Carlos Cornejo (FR/Newton, Kan.) was able to draw a penalty kick. After striking it off the top of the crossbar, Dante Texeira (SO/Andover, Kan.) was able to clean it up to increase the Thresher lead 3-0.
Just two minutes later, Bethel was on the attack again. Aron Lundh (FR/Gothenburg, Sweden) was able to drop a nice ball for Torres, who found net and increased the ever growing lead 4-0.
Unlike Kansas 8-Man Football, there is no mercy rule in NAIA soccer, no matter how needed it is. Newcomer David Fuentes (JR/Garden City, Kan.) was able to net his first goal as a Thresher during the 74th minute, again off a pass by Lundh. The final cherry on top came five minutes later, as Torres found his way to his second goal of the game, assisted by Tingberg. All in all, the damage had been done and Bethel came out on top 6-0.
You can't have a clean-sheet without a goalie protecting the box, and that is just what Albert Bratthammar (FR/Gothenburg, Sweden) did for the Threshers tonight. The few shots Manhattan Christian were able to put up where stopped by "Thor," and he was able to protect the goose-egg on the visitor's side of the scoreboard.
This is the first time Bethel has scored six goals in a game since 2012, when they defeated Southwestern 6-1. You have to dig a bit farther in time to find their last six-goal shutout, which came in 2007 when they opened the season against Central Christian in that fashion.
The Threshers (3-1 now) are currently on their best season-opening streak since 2014, when that year's squad went 6-1-1 to open the year. The Threshers show no sign's of stopping, and will have a week-long break before they are again tested. They next play on September 13th, when they host Mid-America Christian at 5:00 PM on Goering Field.