ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – The Drovers continue to make history in Orange Beach, Ala., as they took down another strong competitor in an overtime battle.
The Drovers had to play more than 95 minutes to come out victorious over the University of Great Falls (Mont.) in the second round of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Championship.
“I’m excited for the boys, obviously to move on to the final eight,” Head Coach Jimmy Hampton said. “We made some mistakes, but all that matters is that we win down here.”
Daniel Gibson struck first for USAO, bringing the Drovers into a 1-0 lead just 20 minutes into the game. Just minutes before halftime, Richard Norman found Breno Figueiredo, who knocked in USAO’s second goal of the game. It was also Figueiredo’s second goal on the season.
“What a great goal he had for us today,” Hampton said of Figueiredo. “Great ball, great run. I’m so happy for the kid.”
Unfortunately, Figueiredo went down late in the game and sustained a knee injury. He is expected to be out for the tournament.
The Drovers went into halftime up 2-0, something Hampton describes as his least favorite lead.
Within the first 10 minutes of the second half, USAO gave up two goals. With a tied game, USAO’s defense held strong.
All-American David Otieno was fouled in the box and once again pushed USAO in the lead off the penalty kick.
Great Falls scored a game-tying goal with less than five minutes to go in regulation and the match went into overtime. Prior to Monday, USAO was 2-1 in overtime.
Just five minutes into the first overtime, Frank Gibson found the net on a free kick, winning the game and saving the Drovers post-season life.
The Drovers erupted in excitement with their second tournament win.
“It’s emotionally draining,” Hampton said. “We’re just glad to be playing (Wednesday).”
The Drovers fought tough on defense, but they have been without starters in the last two games. Against UT Brownsville, captain John Gardner could not play and Monday, freshman Scott Parkinson sat out. In the next game, the Drovers should be able to compete with both men in the back.
“We’re better with Scott on the field. We’re better with John and Scott,” Hampton said. “It will be nice to have them both on the field at the same time.”
The Drovers move on to the quarterfinals. They will play either Oklahoma Baptist or William Jewell at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Published: Nov. 29, 2010