RedStorm survives Eagles, advances to NAIA quarterfinals
Randy Payton Special to OVP
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Callum Cobb’s goal on the sixth round of penalty kicks allowed fifth-seeded Rio Grande to slip past No. 12 seed Embry-Riddle, 1-1 (6-5 in penalty kicks), in the second round of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Tournament, Tuesday afternoon, at a rain-soaked Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.
The RedStorm (16-2-3), who entered the tournament ranked second in the latest coaches’ poll, will advance to face No. 4 seed Ashford (Iowa) in the tourney’s quarterfinal round on Wednesday at Noon EST.
After the two teams remained tied at 5-5 through the initial segment of the shootout, Cobb - a freshman midfielder from Aldershot, England - pushed a shot past Embry-Riddle goalkeeper Nils Carlson in the first sudden death round of the shootout for the game-winner.
Embry-Riddle’s Nicklas Petersson missed high moments earlier on his shot in the first round of sudden death.
Rio Grande took a 1-0 lead at the 15:58 mark of the first half when a shot by freshman forward Pau Rodriguez (Barcelona, Spain) slipped through the hands of Carlson, but the Eagles tied the game just over two minutes later when Erik Norburg found the net off an assist from Viktor Gudnason.
Both teams had opportunities over the next 92 minutes, consuming the remainder of regulation and both overtime sessions, setting up Rio Grande’s first penalty kick scenario since a loss to The Master’s College in the semifinal round of the 2009 national tournament.
Both teams were perfect through the five regulation rounds of the shootout, setting up the dramatic sudden death finish.
Rio Grande outshot the Eagles, 22-19, although Embry-Riddle enjoyed a 9-6 edge in shots on goal.
Junior net-minder Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) stopped eight shots in the winning effort for Rio, while Carlson had five saves in the loss for the Eagles. Both players went the distance in net.
Wednesday’s winner will advance to the semifinals on Friday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. EST and the title game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m. EST.
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