Crestview Hills, KY – The Geneva Men’s Soccer team found themselves in a familiar place Wednesday afternoon. Playing at Thomas More in the PAC playoffs has been a constant each of the last three years. This year, however, the Golden Tornadoes were playing in the semi-finals rather than the finals. Unfortunately, though the scenario was different, the result was much the same. Thomas More and Geneva tied 1-1 with the Saints advancing 4-2 in penalty kicks.
The first half of play in this PAC semi-final was jam packed with action. After back and forth play throughout the first ten minutes of play, Brian Runyon of Thomas More took a hopeful strike from just outside the 18 yard box which was mishandled and found its way into the back of the net to give the Saints a 1-0 advantage at the 15 minute mark. Just 40 seconds later, Nate Musselman found Kyle Terrill on a corner kick as he rose high above the Thomas More defense and drilled a header into the net to even the score at 1-1.
Just a few moments later, in the 19th minute, the Saints were called for a series of tough challenges which resulted in two yellows cards. With one yellow card already to his name, Thomas More’s R.J. Best was given his second yellow and a soft red in the 32nd minute leaving the Saints down a man for the rest of the contest. The Saints and Golden Tornadoes scratched and clawed their way to a 1-1 halftime score with the Saints outshooting Geneva 4-1 with a 5-2 advantage in corners.
The second half offered pockets of good play from both sides but, despite a series of chances from each team, no goals were scored. No chance greater than when Garrett Masters fired a shot from the top of the box that eluded the keeper but was called back due to a foul just moments before the strike.
Through regulation and one period of extra time, the score remained 1-1 with the Saints outshooting the GTs 8-6. At the end of the second overtime, Sean Bernardi fired a shot from close range that was saved on the goal line by a Thomas More defender with two seconds left on the clock. With Geneva narrowly missing a golden opportunity to advance, the game was sent to penalty kicks.
The first three shooters capitalized in the shootout but Geneva was the first to come up short, missing their second penalty kick which ricocheted off the post and out giving the Saints a 2-1 edge after two rounds. Thomas More buried their next two shots and Geneva’s fourth penalty was saved by Matt Kees to end the shootout at 4-2 and send the Saints into the conference finals. Jeremey Troutman and Sean Bernardi converted the penalty kicks for the Golden Tornadoes.
Coach Dunda stated after the game, “I’m terribly disappointed with today’s outcome. I am very proud of our team’s resolve to fight back and level the match. This team fought through adversity all year long and came out better for it. We will continue to improve and strive toward our goal of winning a PAC championship. It has been a great four years with Jesse Herman, John Shipley and Garrett Masters. They will be missed but never forgotten.”
Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, Adult Degree Programs with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of Scripture, a Geneva education is grounded in God’s word as well as in a core curriculum designed to prepare students vocationally to think, write and communicate well in today’s world.
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