Bulldogs Silence Thunder in PK Shootout to Advance to Conference Final

Bulldogs Silence Thunder in PK Shootout to Advance to Conference Final

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's soccer team advanced to the MIAA Championship match after beating Trine on penalty kicks on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in a semifinal match.

THE BASICS

Final Score: #2 Adrian 1 (4), #3 Trine 1 (3)

Location: Adrian, Mich. (Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium)

Records: Adrian 8-7-1 (5-2 MIAA), Trine 13-3-2 (5-2 MIAA)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Neither team was able to score a goal in the first half, despite each side having chances. Adrian's best chance came off a corner kick from senior Zachary Roller, where fellow senior Brandon Katona managed to get a head on it and forced the Trine keeper to make a nice save.

Trine was able to get on the board early in the second half, scoring in the 47th minute when the Bulldogs were unable to clear the ball after a Thunder corner. Trine took advantage of the mistake and put one into the net to break the scoreless tie and take the 1-0 lead.

The Black and Gold were able to tie the game up on a corner of their own in the 59th minute. Junior Garrett Miller took the corner and played a deep ball to the far post where sophomore Austin Andres met the ball with his head and sent it past the keeper and into the back of the net to tie the game.

Adrian had a chance to win the game with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, but sophomore Justin Tobin's header careened off the cross bar and back into play to keep the game knotted at one and destined for overtime.

The Bulldogs picked up the pace in overtime, outshooting the Thunder 6-2 over the course of the two overtime periods. Neither team was able to score, which sent the game in to a penalty kick shootout with a trip to the MIAA Championship on the line.

Adrian converted on its first three attempts, with Katona, Roller and classmate Tad Davis all finding the net. Trine made its first two attempts, but the Thunder had their third try stopped by junior goalkeeper Spencer Brown.

After the Bulldogs missed their fourth attempt and Trine converted, it came down the fifth and final round to decide if the match would end or continue with sudden-death PKs. Miller put his attempt past the keeper and Brown came up with a huge save diving towards the right post to win the match in front of a raucous Adrian student section and send the Bulldogs into the title match.

This was the first time Adrian has gone into penalty kicks to decide a match in program history, and is the first time since 2016 where the Bulldogs needed overtime to help decide a conference tournament match. In the conference, this was the first penalty shootout since the championship match of 2014.

TOP DOGS

• Andres scored the Bulldogs' only goal in regulation and overtime, with Miller adding an assist.

• Katona, Roller, Davis, and Miller all scored in the penalty shootout.

• Brown made eight saves throughout the 110 minutes of play and made two key saves in the penalty kick shootout.

THE OPPOSITION

• Nooh Aljabaly scored the Thunder's only goal in the game.

• Kyle Wainscott, Brian Morris, and Aljably found the back of the net in the shootout.

UP NEXT

The Bulldogs advance to the MIAA Championship match on Saturday, Nov. 3 against Calvin, the No. 3 team in the country, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The Knights won the MIAA's regular season title this year, and have one the last four MIAA Tournament Championships.

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