By: Nick Birkey, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) Sports Information Director
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — With one final game remaining before opening conference play, the Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) men's soccer team had their toughest challenge of 2013 on Saturday, September 21. The No. 7 Grand View University (Iowa) Vikings visited campus for a weekend afternoon contest, and with them an undefeated record and a host of solid wins already this season.
However, the experienced Tigers handed the Vikings their first loss of the season, 3-2, after Paddy Hoepp scored with less than eight minutes remaining to give ONU the lead they needed to win.
Olivet (3-2-1) was ready as they scored only four minutes and 50 seconds into the game. Senior Michael Da Silva found the net after Robby Gunderson delivered a nice pass across the 18. However, the Vikings (7-1) responded only four minutes later when David Macisicza scored to tie the game. He was assisted by Aaron Scott.
The first half remained tied as each defense controlled the tempo and held the other team in check. The second half started as the first ended; but within the 60th minute, Da Silva headed in his fourth goal of the season after Paddy Hoepp crossed it in to take the lead. ONU tried their best to keep the lead until an unintentional foul in the box gave Grand View a penalty kick, and Jonny Macadam tied the game.
Both teams began to scramble to find the winning goal, but the home team did it first as Hoepp scored point blank after Aaron Chatfield and Miguel Fierro found a way to get it through the box.
Sophomore goalkeeper Zach Chambers recorded three saves in the biggest win of the Tigers' season thus far. Neither team dominated in the shot column as ONU had nine to Grand View's eight.The game was very physical, especially down the stretch, with the Vikings recording 13 and the Tigers with 12.
ONU will be back in action on Tuesday, September 24, on the road against CCAC opponent Holy Cross College (Ind.) at 4 p.m. (EST).