CHICAGO, Ill. – With one win the Olivet University men's soccer team would get back to the CCAC Tournament Championship game for the first time since 2009. The Tigers played on the road on Wednesday at St. Xavier University (Ill.) on a cold evening to earn the opportunity to advance. With four points from both Todd Bevan (Schererville, Ind.) and Robby Gunderson (Downers Grove, Ill.) the Tigers defeated the Cougars 3-1, securing their seventh straight win.
The Tigers (13-4-3) started the game quick scoring in the first 10 minutes when Bevan played in the net from the right side. His seventh goal of the year was assisted by Gunderson. The rest of the first half went to the defenses as neither team was able to find room against the opposing defense.
The second half started in ONU’s favor as Bevan was again successful scoring when Gunderson placed his sixth assist in the box for Bevan and the ball was scored just two yards out. With only 30 minutes remaining the Tigers led 2-0. However, the Cougars (13-6-1) would come back in the 77th minute when Brandon Simoes hooked up Kyle Breitenbach for a goal of his own to make a one goal game.
Just as soon as St. Xavier thought they had gotten back in the game the Tigers secured the win with a third goal in the 85th minute when Gunderson provided one of his own. Michael Da Silva (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) gave him the assist.
In a game where neither the Tigers found themselves on the defensive, the Cougars won in the shot column 15-10. Freshman goalkeeper Zach Cambers (Flanders, N.J.) played all 90 minutes of the win, making six saves in the process.
The Tigers move on to play the CCAC regular season conference champion Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in CCAC Tournament Championship the road on Saturday, Nov. 10. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.