Wheaton (Ill.) ties North Park 1-1; advances with shootout victory
Wheaton, Ill.- Everything was different and yet the same on Tuesday night at Joe Bean Stadium. After defeating the North Park Vikings 1-0 on Friday night, the Thunder men's soccer team welcomed the Vikings (11-5-3) back for Tuesday night's CCIW Tournament Semifinal matchup. Again the teams reached halftime scoreless before the script changed drastically in the second half. Eight second half cards were presented including a red card against both teams leaving the final 36 minutes of the match to be played with ten players to a side. Having previously been man-down, the Thunder (15-3-2) rallied in the final minutes of regulation to tie the match at 1-1 and then converted on all five shootout kicks to advance to Saturday's CCIW Tournament Championship match with a 5-3 victory in the shootout.
Wheaton outshot the Vikings 17-13 in the match and both teams managed five corner kicks. Derek Babb (PICTURED LEFT) allowed one goal and made one save in 110 minutes. North Park's Wesley Woodley also allowed a goal but made four saves.
Tuesday's matchup featured a much more evenly matched first half than the initial match-up yet the score was scoreless at half again. Wheaton held just a 6-4 advantage in shots in the half and had the half's premier scoring opportunity. In the 27th minute, Stephen Golz found a loose ball in the box at his feet but sailed the ball just over the crossbar of the open goal.
Physical play became more prevalent in the second half and Wheaton suffered the first blow when Marshall Hollingsworth picked up two yellow cards in the span of 14 seconds, forcing Wheaton to play man-down. Noah Anthony picked up a caution in the same altercation. Seven minutes later, the Vikings capitalized on their advantage, when Jonas Pettersson scored on a loose ball in front of the net off a Viking corner kick to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead at the 62:12 mark.
The playing field leveled once again 12 minutes later when North Park's Carl Damberg picked up his second yellow card resulting in North Park having to with ten men as well. Wheaton pushed forward trying to level the score as well and finally picked up the equalizer in the final minutes of regulation. In the 88th minute, Wheaton was awarded a free kick 30 yards off the end line. Anthony's free kick found Jordan Golz (PICTURED RIGHT)in the box and Golz turned to deposit the ball inside the left post and tie the score at 1-1 at 87:12.
Wheaton advances to play the winner of Wednesday's Carthage-Elmhurst match on Saturday at Joe Bean Stadium. The start time for that match is yet to be announced.