|Spring Arbor (Mich.) (14-3-4)||0||0||1||1|
|Bethel (Ind.) (11-7-3)||0||0||0||0|
|OT||93:12||Lewis Jones (Spring Arbor (Mich.))|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Indv. Leaders||Bethel (Ind.)|
|#6 Lewis Jones - 1||Goals||None|
|#11 Jacob Crull - 1||Assists||None|
|#6 Lewis Jones - 3||Shots||3 Players - 3|
|#00 Cobi Piper - 4||Saves||#31 Micah Mesward - 3|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Team Statistics||Bethel (Ind.)|
|11 (8)||Shots (on goal)||12 (7)|
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – The Spring Arbor University men's soccer team knocked off the regular season champions Bethel College 1-0 in overtime on Saturday to capture the Crossroads League Tournament championship. Junior Lewis Jones etched his name into SAU history with his golden goal that punched the Cougars' ticket back to the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship for the first time since the 2012 season.
FINAL SCORE: #21 Spring Arbor 1, Bethel 0
LOCATION: Mishawaka, Ind.
RECORDS: Spring Arbor 14-3-4, Bethel 11-7-3
HOW IT HAPPENED
- A well contested first half on the pitch saw both teams with a couple quality chances throughout. The goalkeepers were both up to the task as senior Cobi Piper notched six saves for the Cougars and Micah Mesward posted four for the Pilots.
- The Pilots outshot the Cougars in the first half 11-5 with six attempts on target to SAU's four.
- The second half was controlled by the Cougars. Possession was at a premium as Spring Arbor controlled the ball for the majority of the half, giving up only one shot from the Pilots. The Cougars had a couple quality chances but could not find the back of the net. The clock struck zeros and for second time in as many dates for the Cougars and Pilots as the two sides went to overtime.
- Spring Arbor came out on the attack early into overtime and wasted no time securing their first Crossroads League Tournament championship since 2012. The Liverpool, England native, Lewis Jones, ended the scoring drought as he found the back of the net to give the Cougars the 1-0 win.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- After being outshot 11-6 in the first half Spring Arbor dominated time of possession and controlled the ball throughout the second half. The Cougars outshot the Pilots 5-1 in the second half.
- Cobi Piper was not needed much in the second half, but he was exactly what the Cougars needed in the first posting six saves.
- Jones, Jacob Crull and Michael Caccavo posted two shots on goal each for the Cougars.
FOR THE PILOTS
- The Pilots won the shots advantage 13-12 but were outshot 6-1 to end the game.
- Samuel Biek and Josh Aaron posted two shots on goal apiece for the Pilots.
- With the loss, Bethel moves to 11-7-3 overall. The loss most likely ends the Pilots hopes for a national tournament bid.
QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH NATHAN MILLER
- "First of all, we are so grateful to all the fans that traveled down to support us. It made a massive difference and helped us finish the job in overtime. On a freezing night with everything at stake, it was massive."
- "I am just so very proud of the boys for what they accomplished and how they went about it. It was a tough environment, tough pitch, and it took composure and grit to win the title tonight. We weren't perfect, but that second half was superb. We controlled the match and then what can you say, that goal came from some great build up, great cross from Crull, and Jonsey finished the job. Very proud of them."
- "We have been playing at a really, really high level and hope to host in the first round and keep it going. This group wants a lot more."
Spring Arbor will learn its opponent for the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round matchup – set for Saturday, Nov. 19 – during a live selection show on Monday, Nov. 14. The winners of the opening round matches advance to the tournament's final site in Delray Beach, Florida.
The NAIA's live selection show will be aired at 1 p.m. EST on the NAIA Network.