Pirates get early lead, fail to hold in NAIA Men's Soccer Opening Round loss at No. 2 Lindsey Wilson
(COLUMBIA, Ky.) The Park University men's soccer team scored the first goal of the match but could not make the lead hold falling 3-1 at second-seeded Lindsey Wilson College Saturday (Nov. 23) in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
"I could not ask for any more effort than our guys gave today," head coach Efrem Shimlis said. "(Lindsey Wilson) is a great team that we lost to. We could not play our game because they would not let us. There is nothing to hang our heads about as they deserved to get here with the way we worked."
The Pirates entered the stadium near nine national championship banners for the Blue Raiders but playing even through the opening minutes with goalkeeper Ryan Miller making two quality saves.
George Kennedy put Park on the scoreboard first in the 30th minute taking a pass from senior Kiel Williams just inside the penalty area. The junior side-stepped two LWC defenders and snuck a shot past goalkeeper Yuta Nomura to the far post and a 1-0 advantage.
"We were fortunate to get up early on a great goal by George. It was a great decision and a better strike by him," Shimlis added.
The lead held until the late stages of the first half when the Blue Raiders struck for the equalizer with 4:08 on the clock as Yazeed Davids buried a cross from Keletso Mosime to even the score 1-1 at the halftime break.
Lindsey Wilson, now 15-3-2 overall, took the lead right away in the second stanza scoring 2:34 into the frame on a well-executed build up with Tom Moody heading a cross just under the crossbar for the 2-1 lead.
The Blue Raiders added to their lead in the 64th minute as Mosime scored on a wind-aided corner kick as Miller and a Park defender were both knocked out of position by an attacked and unable to stop the ball from slipping over the goal line.
Miller kept the Pirates in the match coming up with numerous saves making five in the match while Nomura finished with four for LWC, who advances to the NAIA National Championship Second Round in Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 2-3.
"I have to say thank you to the seniors because they led us all season," Shimlis said. "They lost to a great team and I am so proud of them. Now we know what it takes to get to the next level and hopefully this will help us prepare for next year."
Park ends the 2013 season as American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament champions with an overall record of 11-6-1