Beaver Falls, PA – Sometimes a head coach just simply presses the right buttons. On Wednesday night, Geneva College men’s soccer coach Gary Dunda made a late game switch with the score tied 1-1. Less than one minute after being inserted into the line-up, Austin Petrie scored one of the prettiest goals of the year to give Geneva a lead and ultimately a 2-1 victory over Houghton College in the NCCAA Eastern regional semi-final match. The victory pushed Geneva’s overall record to 14-5-2 and insured a date with Malone University on Saturday afternoon for the right to play for an automatic bid to the NCCAA national tournament beginning on November 30th.
Neither team could find the net in the first half despite Geneva getting the better of the play by out shooting the Highlanders 9-2 in the first 45 minutes. With the game still tied early in the second half, Jeremy Troutman tried to split a pair of defenders into the attacking box and was upended which resulted in a penalty kick. At the 56:02 mark, Jake McCracken made the penalty kick with his 12th goal of the season.
Geneva seemed well on its way to a 1-0 victory, but Houghton had other ideas as Brady Robinson was able to poke a shot into the net with just over ten minutes remaining in regulation. Geneva had just suffered an overtime loss to Thomas More in the PAC finals less than two weeks ago and the Golden Tornadoes were not about to suffer the same fate on Wednesday night. Enter Austin Petrie into the line-up and a long feed from Teddy Krzywiecki. Petrie took the pass and went one on one with a Houghton defender before blasting a shot into the top right corner of the net for the eventual game winner.
Evan Biedenbach picked up the victory in goal for Geneva with three saves including a dazzling block off of a Houghton free kick midway through the second half. Bryan Butler finished up the last few minutes in net after Biedenbach suffered an injury that forced him out of the game with less than five minutes to play.
The Golden Tornadoes will head to Canton, OH on Saturday afternoon for a rematch with Malone University. Geneva defeated the Eastern regional’s top seed 3-1 earlier in the season.
The winner of Saturday’s regional championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCCAA national tournament in Kissimmee, FL beginning on November 30th.
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).