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LWC Men's Soccer falls to Belhaven 1-0 in NAIA Semifinals

Devastating goal by Belhaven comes in final minute of play

By Chris Wells
News from Lindsey Wilson College

MONTGOMERY, AL - The top-seeded Lindsey Wilson College men's soccer team lost 1-0 in heartbreaking fashion today to No. 12-seed Belhaven (Miss.) University at the NAIA National Championships played at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.

Belhaven's Eduardo Cruz hit a bomb from 35 yards out off the post with 28 seconds remaining in regulation to end the Blue Raiders' reign as NAIA champions in today's national semifinals. The Blazers (18-4-1) advance to meet the winner of the second semifinal featuring seventh-seeded MidAmerican Nazarene (Kansas) and No. 11-seed Mobile (AL).

Both team's defenses shined throughout the match as neither side could manage quality scoring chances. Belhaven finished the match with five shots on goal while the Blue Raiders hit the target just four times.

After a scoreless first 45 minutes, Lindsey Wilson - who finishes the season 22-2 - produced its best scoring chances late in regulation.

Lebogang Moloto - who scored three goals in Wednesday's quarterfinal - was turned away twice by Belhaven keeper Carl Blundell in the 82nd and 86th minutes Renan Serafim was also denied in the 87th minute. Blundell finished with a clean sheet and four saves.

Blundell's shutout marks the first time the Blue Raiders have been held scoreless since a 2-0 loss to University of Rio Grande in the 2010 Mid-South Conference Tournament finals. It is the first time since the 2008 national tournament Lindsey Wilson failed to score in the tournament.

Belhaven concluded the game out-shooting the Blue Raiders 12-9 while Lindsey Wilson posted a 6-4 corner kick advantage.

Yuta Nomura suffered just his second loss in as many seasons. He allowed the lone goal while stopping four Belhaven shots.

The Blue Raiders close their season one match shy of playing for their 10th national title. Belhaven advances to play in its second national finals on Saturday. - Chris Wells

This story was posted on 2012-12-01 01:14:31
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