Courtesy of SVSU Athletic Media Relations
MIDLAND - The Saginaw Valley State University men's soccer team sealed its second trip to the national Sweet 16 in three years after posting a dominating 5-2 victory over the Northwood University Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon (11/16) in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinal round.
The game was played at Dean Field, the home field of the T-Wolves on the campus of Northwood University. It was the fourth meeting between the teams this season and the third in the past 17 days. The Cardinals were 0-2-1 before Sunday's victory against Northwood in 2014.
Northwood got out to a quick 1-0 lead just 1:43 into the match, using an unfortunate bounce for the Cards to grab the lead.
It wasn't until the 39:18 marker when SVSU got its first goal of the contest. Tyler Channell connected on a penalty kick after a foul in the box, knotting the score at 1-1.
Only 42 seconds later at the 40-minute mark the Cards found the back of the net once more to grab a 2-1 advantage. Craig Neal slid and kicked in a rebound off the NU goalie for the goal. Channell had the assist on the play, as his shot led to the rebound.
The 2-1 score would hold true into the halftime break. The Cards had seven shots compared to Northwood's six in the opening 45 minutes of action.
Saginaw Valley would continue the hot offensive play early in the second half, as the Cardinals would add three more goals in a span of eight minutes.
Isaevski would set up another teammate at the 58:13 marker in the second half next, passing a corner kick in front of the net. His pass made it through the traffic and found Michael Lamb, who headed it in the net for a 4-1 advantage for the visitors.
Neal would add his ninth goal of the season at the 60:39 mark when he punched-in a score on a loose ball in front of the net to give SVSU a 5-1 edge.
The Timberwolves added another goal a few minutes later at the 63:52 marker to cut the deficit to 5-2, but the lead proved to be insurmountable and the Cardinals claimed the victory.
Cardinal goalkeeper Alexandre Bouillennec got the win for the Cards between the posts, making seven saves on nine shots on goal to help his team improve to 14-4-2 overall on the season.
SVSU had nine shots in the second half and the T-Wolves 10, with both teams finishing with 16 for the contest. The Cards put 10 of those 16 shots on net, helping to account for the five goals.
Saginaw Valley advances to the Sweet 16, where it will face Qunicy University, a team that posted a 2-1 victory over Drury University on Sunday to advance. The game will be played on the campus of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It will be played on Friday with a start time yet to be determined. It's the first appearance in the round of 16 for the Hawks. Stay tuned to www.svsucardinals.com for all information on the matchup.