Published Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 10:11 PM
Graceland Captures Title In Shootout
Abe Osheyack, ERAU Athletic Communications Intern
Each team had several chances to get on the board in regulation. The Cougars had an excellent chance in the 24th minute when junior Kolt Calloway collected a loose ball, but his shot was saved by Graceland keeper Isaac Unruh, and Calloway pushed the rebound just past the left post. Azusa again knocked on the door in the second half, but Steven Lenhart’s shot from just inside the spot went well over the crossbar in the 73rd minute.
With 5:53 on the clock in the first overtime, Graceland’s Brett Porter took a shot that found its way to Azusa goalie James Crawford, but not before being coolly wrapped up by Cougar keeper James Crawford.
After the first five shooters for both teams were successful, Azusa’s Tony Rotunno’s shot was saved by Unruh. Crawford returned the favor on Filip Prostran. The next two shooters for each side missed, but Graceland’s Stefan Delas and Azusa’s Beau Hayden connected on their respective shots. After Calloway missed his penalty, Nick Gay sealed the win with a penalty to right side.
“I think I’m in shock,” said Yellow Jackets coach Ivan Joseph. “We had to work, work, work. We had to keep their big guy off the ball. As long as we kept him from turning, we knew we had a chance.”
Graceland finishes the season at 17-4-3, while Azusa, who fell in the title game for the second consecutive year, finished at 17-3-4.
No. 2 GRACELAND 0, No. 8 AZUSA PACIFIC 0
Graceland 0 0 0 0 0
Azusa Pacific 0 0 0 0 0
Shots: Graceland 16, Azusa Pacific 10
Corner kicks: Graceland 4, Azusa Pacific 11
Goalie saves: Graceland (Isaac Unruh 5), Azusa Pacific (James Crawford 3).
Fouls: Graceland 18, Azusa Pacific, 13.
Sven Simon, Azusa Pacific
Jon Hermannsson, Webber International
Steve Lenhart, Azusa Pacific
Joonas Siikala, Northwood
Skelly Kellar, Azusa Pacific
Kevin Souter, Graceland
Conar Dawson, Rio Grande
Cristian Fernandes, Oklahoma Christian
Jared Karkas, Azusa Pacific
Josh Howard, William Jewell
Craig Curtis, Webber International
Brett Loving, Graceland
Isaac Unruh, Graceland
Andy Shields, William Jewell
Nels Dahlquist Team Sportsmanship Award – Azusa Pacific
BRINE-NAIA Champions of Character Award – Bret Loving, Graceland
Outstanding Defensive Player – Bret Loving, MF, Graceland
Outstanding Offensive Player – Steven Lenhart, MF, Azusa Pacific
Tournament MVP – Isaac Unruh, GK, Graceland