SALINA, Kan. – History was made by the ONU men’s soccer team and head coach David Blahnik today with a 3-2 overtime defeat over Kansas Wesleyan University in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round. With the victory Olivet secured its first trip in the Sweet 16 of the national tournament. The Tigers found a way to win over the No. eighth ranked Coyotes in overtime, their 13th extra period of the season. The Tigers are undefeated in overtime games this year. The win also is the ninth in the last 11 games, keeping the Tigers unbeaten streak to 11.
In the Tiger’s (14-4-4) fourth postseason game this year they didn’t wait around long to score. In the 14th minute Todd Bevan (Schererville, Ind.) found the net for his ninth goal of the year and fourth of the postseason. ONU continued to play well offensively early in the first half, finding a second score off the foot of Paddy Hoepp (Frankfurt, Germany), his seventh of the year. He was assisted by Logan Engelkes (Winnebago, Ill.), his eighth of the year.
However, the rest of the first half went to the defenses as the nets were closed until the second half began. Only two minutes in the Coyotes (16-3-2) scored when Diego Cocon scored to make it 2-1. They didn’t stop there scoring in the 51st minute when Briant Reyes tied the game off an assist by Javier Cervantes. Neither team was able to score until the 90 minutes were up, partly because it was a physical game, seeing 21 fouls.
In overtime, it took seven minutes and three seconds but the Tigers scored to advance this postseason. Engelkes scored off a rebound to win the game, he was assisted by Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.).
Freshman goalkeeper Zach Chambers (Flanders, N.J.) played the entire 98 minutes, allowing two goals and finishing with seven saves in total. ONU was outshot by KWU 20-13, and the Coyotes had more of them on goal, by a margin of 10-6.
The Tigers now move on to Montogomery, Ala. and NAIA National Tournament and play against No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) in the second round at 6:30 p.m on Tuesday, Nov. 27.