ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – The Drovers haven’t had enough of Orange Beach and defeated eighth-seed Azusa Pacific to stick around another day and compete for the second year in a row in the NAIA Quarterfinals.
The 2-1 victory sends the Drovers play defending national champions Hastings College at noon Wednesday.
Against Azusa Pacific, the Drovers dominated the first half of play, opening the scoring in just the 13th minute when Dusan Rasovic beat out an APU defender for a goal off an assist from Phil Pryor.
After a series of close shots, Scott Parkinson added the Drovers’ second goal 20 minutes later off a corner kick by Niall Crick, giving the Drovers a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
Just before halftime, Parkinson went down with a knee injury and was not able to play the rest of the game. His participation in Wednesday’s game is questionable.
“I was disappointed in losing Scott Parkinson,” USAO head coach Jimmy Hampton said. “He is a great player and leader.”
With Parkinson on the sidelines, the Drover defense held strong in the second half, allowing just a single goal in the last three minutes of the game.
“It’s a great win to move to the final eight. We are looking forward to Hastings,” Hampton said. “Every day is a great day to be a Drover.”
The Drovers have faced Hastings once before. In 2009, Hastings defeated the Drovers in the opening round of the national tournament.
“There are two teams playing tomorrow. One of them is the No. 1 team in the country. Let’s find out who that is at noon,” Hampton said. “It’s a great challenge; a great opportunity. There’s no one I’d rather play.”
Watch the game
The NAIA will present the game live online. To watch the live video, click here. There is a $9.95 single game viewing fee.
For students and fans in Chickasha, the USAO is hosting a free watch party in Station 82 of the Student Center on USAO’s campus.
The championship is a single-loss elimination tournament. If the Drovers win on Wednesday, they will play at the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday.
For more information on the tournament, click here.