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Soccer: LWC wins NAIA opener in Double OT

By Kyle Jackson

The No. 11-ranked and No. 2-seed Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team defeated No. 24-ranked and No. 3-seed Grand View (IA) 4-3 in double overtime on Thursday night in the semifinals of the NAIA Opening Round Columbia (MO) Bracket. Alexander Koziolek was the man of the match as he scored the game-winning penalty in double overtime as well as notching two assists on the night.

The Blue Raiders (14-2-2, 10-1 MSC), who outshot the Vikings (11-6-2, 7-3-1 HEART) 24-10 tonight, battled through defensive mistakes to advance to this weekend's final of the opening round bracket. The winner of Saturday's game will move onto the final site of the NAIA Championship.

It was the Blue Raiders who got on the board first in the match as the side was awarded a free kick on the right-hand side of the field just outside of the box. Koziolek took the set-piece floating a ball into the box that met the onrushing head of Opoku who buried it for the 1-0 lead. The header was only the second shot of the evening for the Blue Raiders.

A few moments later, Cyrus Harmon had a great look at doubling the advantage as he danced his way past two defenders into the box, only to find his shot rebounding off the crossbar and back into play.

The Vikings had a great moment in the 21st minute to find an equalizer as they were awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Henrique Cavalini came up big for his side, diving to his right to deny the equalizer for the Vikings and retaining the 1-0 advantage for the Blue Raiders.

Grand View did eventually find their equalizer in the first half as Amin Fernounchi was caught under pressure with the ball in the box. It was then squared into the center for a wide-open Alessandro Venditti who finished first time into the corner for the 1-1 score.

Just moments before halftime, Mngqibisa scored his fifth of the season, putting the Blue Raiders back in front finishing off a cross from Pedro Maximiano for the 2-1 halftime score.

The Vikings came out of the break with a mission to equalize in the game again and they succeeded on that mission after just two minutes as Diego Leite took a shot from far outside the box flashing past Cavalini into the corner to make it a 2-2 game.

The Blue Raiders took the lead for the third time in the match after Sias headed in a corner kick from Koziolek in the 72nd minute for the 3-2 lead. The goal is a career first for Sias who has been with the program for three years.

Moments later Alvaro Verwey nearly doubled the Blue Raiders' lead as he found himself in front of a wide-open net in the box, but his shot was cleared off the line as the Vikings were scrambling to defend the play.

It was the Vikings however who had the last laugh in the second half as they weren't ready to let their season die just yet. Once again, the No.3-seed capitalized on a mistake by the Lindsey Wilson defense late in the match to tie for the third time in the game at 3-3 in the 87th minute.

For the third time this season, overtime was required to determine a winner. It was a very quiet first overtime period with neither team wanting to make a mistake that would ruin their season. Into the second overtime period where it was played at a much higher intensity than the first as both sides had good opportunities to win the match.

In the final minute of play, Grand View keeper Felix Shafer takes out Opoku in the box awarding the Blue Raiders with a penalty kick. Koziolek stepped up to take, cooling slotting it into the open left corner of the goal to send Lindsey Wilson to the final of the Columbia (MO) bracket where they'll face No. 10-ranked and 1-seed Columbia (MO) on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 3pmCT.

This story was posted on 2021-11-19 13:23:58
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