No. 4 Keiser Holds Off Late Rally Against No. 5 Missouri Baptist
Greenville, S.C. – (Box Score) Fourth seed Keiser used a 5-1 first quarter lead to jump out an early and never trailed in the game as they defeated fifth seed Missouri Baptist 13-11 in the final quarterfinal game of the 2017 NAIA Invitational Wednesday at Sirrine Stadium. With the win the Seahawks improve to 8-1, while the Spartans finish 8-5.
Missouri Baptist struck first as Austin Dahl connected with Andy Coulter for a goal three minutes in the game. Keiser responded with five unanswered goals, including three from Craig Marentette to take a 5-1 lead after the opening quarter.
An unassisted goal by Nolan Duncan just over three minutes into the second period extended the Seahawks lead to 6-1. The two teams traded goals before San Mollet found Dahl for a man-up goal to cut the deficit to 7-3. Mollet scored two of the next three goals for the Spartans to cut Keiser's lead to 8-5 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Keiser took advantage of a Missouri Baptist penalty as Jacob Bomberry found Marentette for a man-up with 9:20 remaining. The Spartans got back-to-back goals from Mollet and Dahl to cut their deficit to 9-7 after three periods.
Keiser scored three unanswered goals, including two in a 15 second span, to give the Seahawks a 12-7 edge with 10:51 remaining. Missouri Baptist battled back with three straight goals to make it 12-10 with 3:03 left. The score stayed that way until the 2:05 mark when Devin Mayer put a well-placed shot into the back of the cage to make it a one goal game, 12-11. Missouri Baptist won the ensuing faceoff but a turnover give possession to Keiser and Bomberry netted a goal in the final seconds for the 13-11 final.
Leading the way for the Seahawks was Marentette who recorded seven points (four goals, three assists). Duncan added five points, while Eddie Grieco and Bomberry finished with four points apiece. Justin Stone scooped up a team-high seven groundballs. In the cage Jake Padden made a game-high 13 saves for the win.
Mollet netted four goals and dished out three assists to lead Missouri Baptist. Dahl added four points, while Sean Hess tallied three assists. Robert Ates finished with 10 saves in the game.
Keiser advances to the semifinals on Friday against Missouri Valley. That game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.