Stunned: Golden Eagles Fall in Penalty Kicks to Oklahoma Baptist in Title Game
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (November 9, 2012) - No. 7 Oklahoma Baptist pushed No. 5 John Brown to penalty kicks today at Alumni Field, ultimately capturing the shootout victory, 4-2, and with the win, the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament championship.
The match will officially be scored as a 1-1 draw as neither team could put home the game-winner in 110 minutes of play.
The visiting Bison controlled the majority of the first half, out-shooting JBU 9-4. Garcia's five saves in the first frame kept the Golden Eagles in the contest and within striking distance of the tournament title.
Oklahoma Baptist found the scoreboard first when Mario Maia bent a corner kick in for a goal, handing the visitors the 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
John Brown responded quickly, however, as just a minute later, Daniel Forry's deflected strike in the box knotted the score and sent the raucous crowd of over 750 spectators into a frenzy.
JBU would continue to mount pressure and in the 56th minute had an opportunity to take the lead after the Bison committed a foul just outside its box.
The hero in the conference semifinals, Eli Simonsen, stepped up to take the free kick, however the ensuing shot, after bending over the wall and fooling keeper Marcus Oliveira, rang off the post, keeping the match deadlocked.
Garcia would step up again in the 82nd minute, leaping to the far corner of the net, deflecting a Rodrigo Lopes header attempt out of harm's way.
Regulation time would end as OBU held the advantage in shots (17-13) and corner kicks (12-4).
As overtime play ensued, penalty kicks were inevitable as both squads played to simply avoid the loss, keeping the majority of play in neutral field.
Martin Gonzalez and Chris Soenksen each converted their opportunities, matching OBU's 2-for-2 effort.
That would be where the scoring ended for John Brown, however, as Oliveira knocked aside Luke Theimer's attempt before Simeonsen's final chance sailed over the crossbar.
Oklahoma Baptist scored all four chances it took, winning the shootout 4-2 and with it not only a tournament championship but an automatic berth to the 2012 NAIA men's soccer national tournament.
"I am so proud of my team," said head coach John Miglarese as he reflected on the 2012 season. "The boys played their hearts out today and we had our chances to win the game in the second half and overtime. I am so grateful for the fan support. We had close to 1,000 people out here - what an atmosphere.
"I also wanted to thank the athletic department and the student body for working so hard to make this an event for all involved. This is a tough loss for my young team. However, we will work our tails off in the offseason to get back to the finals again."
The Golden Eagles complete its season at 11-5-2 which included a memorable run to the 2012 SAC tournament championship match and a runner-up finish.