2013 Men's Soccer National Championship Semifinal Recap
By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The cardiac kids from No. 11-seeded Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) advance to their fourth all-time NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, defeating No. 2 seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 2-1, in overtime.
Auburn Montgomery will take on Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) foe Martin Methodist (Tenn.) in the 2013 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship final at 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Ala. This is the second-straight year in which both National Championship finalists hail from the SSAC.
After advancing on penalty kicks in the first two rounds and winning, 3-2, in double overtime Wednesday, Auburn Montgomery again took things down to the wire. With just one shot on goal in the first half, the match crescendoed in the second period, where the Warhawks were forced to play a man down, after losing starting midfielder Christian Holthaus in the 56th minute to a straight red card on a foul just outside the box. The shorthanded squad conceded a goal to Elijah Ukpong of Lindsey Wilson on a header off the post in the 62nd minute and the Blue Raiders seemed all-but-certainly headed to their tenth National Championship final.
With four seconds left in regulation a Lindsey Wilson foul stopped the clock, giving the Warhawks one last scoring opportunity. A crossing volley off of the Auburn Montgomery set piece, into a crowded box, found its way to the back post, where Mathis Kroeger headed it home for his first goal of the season with one second left on the clock. The goal knotted the game at one, sending Auburn Montgomery to overtime for the fourth-straight match. To watch the last-second play, click here.
In the 97th minute, Elvar Sigurdsson weaved through two defenders and sent his initial shot past Lindsey Wilson keeper Yuta Nomura and off the right post. With Nomura on the ground after a diving attempt on the first shot, Sigurdsson put the rebound home to punch the Warhawks ticket to their first National Championship final since 2004.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 15 matches of the 2013 Men’s Soccer National Championship in Montgomery, Ala. Don't miss any of the action that runs from Dec. 2 - 7. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
National Championship Semifinal Notes
-Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) advances to its fourth Men’s Soccer National Championship final. The Warhawks are 0-3-0 in their three prior appearances, with national runner-up finishes in 2000, 2001 and 2004.
-There will be a first-time national champion this season, as neither Martin Methodist (Tenn.) or Auburn Montgomery owns a National Championship.
-For the second-straight year both national finalists hail from the Southern States Athletic Conference. Belhaven (Miss.) defeated Mobile (Ala.), 2-0, in the 2012 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship.
-Auburn Montgomery is 8-1-1 all-time against Martin Methodist, winning the most recent meeting, 2-1, on Sept. 28, on a goal with 1.4 seconds remaining in double overtime.
-With two overtime matches today, fifteen contests have now required an extra period, with thirteen advancing to double-overtime and six being settled by penalty kicks—all NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship records—in this year’s National Championship.