Kissimmee, FL - The Geneva College men′s soccer team left the frigid temperatures of Beaver Falls and arrived in sunny Florida yesterday to begin its road through the NCCAA national tournament. The Golden Tornadoes were faced with the challenge of playing 2nd seeded and Florida resident Palm Beach Atlantic in the first round. The warm weather seemed to do the Golden Tornadoes well as they upset the second seed by the score of 1-0 to keep their national championship hopes alive. Geneva improved to 15-5-3 on the season marking the fifth highest single season win total in school history.
PBA outshot the Golden Tornadoes 17-10 for the game but it was one shot in particular from Geneva senior Jake McCracken the proved to be the difference. The Golden Tornadoes were awarded a penalty kick late in the first half and McCracken took advantage of it for the only goal of the game in the 39th minute. Ironically it was McCracken′s penalty kick goal against Malone University in the regional final that was the final image for the Golden Tornadoes as they advanced to the national tournament for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Freshman goalkeeper Bryan Butler was once again stellar as he posted his seventh shut-out of the season in turning away five PBA shots along the way. "Just a fantastic team effort," said head coach Gary Dunda. "That was a very good team we just played and our guys worked extremely hard for 90 minutes. This was a victory that our guys earned and that has put us in a position to do something very special. It has already been an amazing experience for our entire program."
Geneva will play on Thursday at 5 pm in the NCCAA national semi-finals against the winner of Grace and Judson that is being played Wednesday evening. The winner of Thursday′s match will advance into Saturday′s 7:30 pm national championship. The Golden Tornadoes won the NCCAA national title back in 1994.
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).