KWU Men’s Soccer Falls at MidAmerica Nazarene
KSAL Sports - November 25, 2013 6:43 am
OLATHE, Kan. – The Kansas Wesleyan Men’s Soccer team faced a daunting task on Saturday against the No. 6 ranked MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers at MNU’s Pioneer Field. The Coyotes and Pioneers played to a scoreless tie, but MNU would advance to the NAIA National Championships with a 4-2 decision in a penalty kick shootout in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.
The Coyotes played extremely well against the Pioneers who had defeated Wesleyan 1-0 in an earlier meeting this season in Salina. Junior goalkeeper Blessing Ngwa was a blessing to the Coyotes in the game, recording seven saves, several of them clutch to keep MNU off the board.
Jeremy Carroll had Wesleyan’s only shot on goal in the match in the 84th minute as he tried to go just inside the near post on the left side of the goal but the shot was stopped by MNU keeper Chris Ericksson.
Meanwhile, Ngwa was putting on a goalkeeping clinic on the opposite end. He stopped seven on target shots in the match, and picked off several other crosses and entry passes into the 18-yard box. His most impressive saves came in overtime as he saved a shot in the 100th minute by Taylor Esparza for MNU and perhaps the most amazing stop of the entire day in the 109th minute as he covered a shot by Lippi Souza just before it crossed the line to preserve the shutout.
In the shootout, both teams converted their first two rounds, but MNU would pull ahead in the third round after Pioneer keeper Ericksson saved Salvador Rosales shot. After MNU converted its fourth shot again Ericksson would save a shot by the Coyotes to allow the Pioneers to advance.
Six different Wesleyan players had a shot in the match, as MNU held a 15-6 advantage in shots led by Aurelien Norest with four.
Wesleyan finishes its season with a 13-4-3 record overall. MidAmerica Nazarene advances to the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship and will face No. 8 ranked Belhaven (Miss.) on December 3.