Beaver Falls, PA - For four years, the Geneva College men′s soccer team, along with the rest of the athletic programs on College Hill, sat and watched the other schools in the Presidents′ Athletic Conference enjoy the thrill of the post-season. On Wednesday night, the wait came to an end and the Golden Tornadoes made the long wait worthwhile as they defeated Grove City College 1-0 in the PAC semi-finals in just the first year of post-season eligibility. Geneva improved to 13-4-2 while the Wolverines fell to 12-5-1 in the match-up between #2 and #3 seeds for the right to advance to the conference finals.
Neither team could find the net in the first half as the teams entered the halftime break still deadlocked in a scoreless tie. The game remained tied until Austin Petrie broke free and forwarded a perfect ball onto the foot of Jeb Nash who made no mistake in tallying his sixth goal of the season and undoubtedly the most important of his career. Nash′s goal in the 78th minute proved to be the only offense Geneva would need despite out shooting Grove City 14-6 including several golden opportunities throughout the match.
The Wolverines managed only two shots on goal in the game and freshman Bryan Butler turned them both aside to pick up his first career post-season victory and shut-out.
The victory helps Geneva advance to its first PAC title game in school history. The Golden Tornadoes will be making the long trip to Crestview Hills, Kentucky where they will meet Thomas More in the finals. The Saints handed Geneva its only conference loss of the season in October by a 2-1 score. Thomas More advanced to the championship game thanks to a 3-1 semi-final victory over Bethany on Wednesday.
The championship match, originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved up a day to accommodate a log jam of activity at Thomas More including the PAC women′s soccer championship and a home football game for the Saints.
The winner of Saturday′s PAC title game will advance into the national tournament field which would include regional play next week. "I couldn′t be more excited for our guys," said head coach Gary Dunda. "They have worked so hard this year and it is a great feeling for them to experience the feeling of a post-season victory. We are excited for the victory but we still have work to do."
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).