The sixth seeded Grand View men's soccer team scored three goals in the first 22 minutes en route to a 3-1 win over MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) in the opening round of the NAIA Men's Soccer Championship held today in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Vikings came out ready to play, stunning the Pioneers with a goal just 2:15 into the game as George Hunt scored assisted by Jonny Macadam.
Grand View struck again just eleven minutes later with Sam Weeks assisting GV's second goal and the eventual game winner by Luis Heitor-Piffer in the 14thminute. Hunt was able to return the favor to Macadam, feeding him for a goal in the 22ndminute. The Vikings had one more scoring opportunity in first half after awarded a penalty kick in the 31stminute. The PK shot by Macadam went wide and Grand View led 3-0 at the half.
Each team took seven shots in the first half and five shots on goal apiece. Grand View's freshman goalkeeper Conor Thomas made several exceptional saves to hold the Pioneers scoreless in the first half.
The MidAmerica defense stepped it up in the second half to limit GV's scoring opportunities as Grand View's only shot on goal was on failed penalty kick by Per Poulsen that went off of the post in the 49thminute.
The Pioneers took it at the Vikings' goal producing five shots on goal in the second half. Thomas was able to stop four shots before MNU's Trent Remmich finally put one past him, scoring in the 82ndminute assisted by Oumer Seck.
The Vikings buckled downin the final minutes of the contest to halt any further chance of a comeback by the Pioneers.
Head Coach Blair Reid was pleased with the overall team effort today.
"Grand View played well today. Our back four defenders kept shape and worked together for the complete 90 minutes. Per Poulsen was unbeatable in the air and took away MidAmerica Nazarene's desire to play into their target man. Sam Weeks played a simple and intelligent match winning balls, helping the back four and playing quickly to midfielders and forwards. Strong outside mid play of Ryan Adamson and Ryan McGowan helped tremendously on defense in addition to creating dangerous chances for Jonny Macadam, George Hunt, and Luis Heitor-Piffer. Adamson can be a very dangerous player as he proved today. Jonny and Luis were giving MNU all they could do to handle them and it was encouraging to see Hunt scoring and contributing defensively from the forward position. A true team victory today, we coaches were delighted with the performance," said Reid.
Grand View improves to 17-2-2 and advances to the NAIA Men's Soccer Championship final site in Orange Beach, Alabama. The Vikings will take on the winner of No. 11 Concordia (Ore.) and Great Falls (Mont.). Sixteen final site games will be held November 28-December 3.
Championship brackets will be updated by the NAIA tonight. Please visit the Grand View Viking web site for updates.
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