Bishop dribbles past Jordan Green
- They were picked to finish sixth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference
preseason poll, and many probably doubted they would even qualify
for the league's eight-team tournament after a home loss to Indianapolis
on Sept. 1.
Norse of Northern Kentucky University finished second in the GLVC
regular-season standings, tied a school record by winning 16 games
and captured their first-ever NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region
championship. But NKU's eventful, unexpected journey in the NCAA
Division II Tournament ended Sunday afternoon, just one victory
shy of the Final Four.
halted NKU's postseason run with a 2-1 victory over the Norse in
the national quarterfinals at the Town & Country Sports Complex.
The 16th-ranked Railsplitters improved to 15-1-3 and advanced to
the NCAA Division II Final Four at Pensacola, Fla., where they will
meet Fort Lewis on Nov. 16.
the season with a 16-3-3 record. The 14th-ranked Norse entered Sunday's
national quarterfinal contest with a 14-game unbeaten streak (12-0-2)
and had not lost since Sept. 15. Ironically enough, all three of
NKU losses this season came at home.
The Norse dominated
statistically but found the back of the net just once. NKU finished
with a 16-5 advantage in shots, including a 6-2 edge in shots on
goal. The Norse also owned a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.
gave Lincoln Memorial a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of play with
his 20th goal of the season, a 6-yard shot from the right side.
The Railsplitters still held that 1-0 advantage at halftime.
Capurro (right) wins the ball
NKU drew even
at the 60:17 mark when freshman Braden Bishop scored his 12th goal
of the season with a 3-yard shot that was assisted by Chris Thompson
and Tony Ray. The Norse had several other opportunities, but Lincoln
Memorial goalie Brent Cole made four of his five saves in the second
tied until the 87:10 mark, when Leonardo de Barros chipped in a
shot over NKU goalie Andy Ortman. Pereira dribbled into the box
and fed de Barros on the left side. Ortman came out to defend, but
de Barros found the back of the net with his low-angle shot.
In the closing
seconds, Thompson found himself open from about 20 yards on the
left side, but his shot was wide and high, and Lincoln Memorial
ended NKU's unbeaten streak at 14.
It marked the
second straight season Lincoln Memorial defeated NKU by a goal at
the Town & Country Sports Complex. A year ago, the Railsplitters
took a 3-2 overtime decision from the Norse in Wilder.
had never appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament before this
season, outscored opponents 42-11 going into the national quarterfinals.
NKU won the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region men's soccer championship
last Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime victory over two-time defending
champion Southern Illinois at Edwardsville. The Norse opened the
NCAA Division II Tournament by routing Wisconsin-Parkside, 4-0,
at Edwardsville, Ill.