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No. 11-ranked Hornets hold on for 2-1 win over Hastings at NAIA national tournament, face top-rated Lindsey Wilson in quarterfinals on Wednesday

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On a wet field in the second round of the 2012 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s soccer team held on for a 2-1 win over the Hastings (Neb.) College Broncos on Tuesday at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex. Southern Polytechnic is the tournament’s No. 8 seed and is rated 11th nationally in the NAIA while Hastings was unseeded and ranked 22nd.

Southern Poly, the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament runner-up, received an at-large bid to the NAIA national event while the Broncos earned an automatic berth by winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament championship. The Hornets are making their fourth straight appearance in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Sweet 16. Hastings won the 2010 national title and finished as the national runner-up last season.

“I thought we played very well the first 60 minutes and just stopped going forward once Hastings got some shots off,” SPSU head coach Kom Momeni said.

In the 17th minute (16:51), junior midfielder Juan Henao scored on a direct free kick, giving Southern Poly a quick 1-0 lead. In the final minute before halftime (44:04), the Hornets added to their advantage when freshman midfielder Adis Islamovic found the net on an assist from Henao, making it a 2-0 contest. The Broncos got on the scoreboard with a goal in the 73rd minute (72:45), cutting their deficit to a single score, but SPSU was able to hang on down the stretch.

“I thought Juan’s goal was a first-class free kick,” Momeni said. “He had a very nice game.”  

Southern Poly finished with a 14-12 edge in shots, including 9-1 in the first half. Both teams took seven shots on goal with Hastings being awarded five corner kicks to the Hornets’ three.

Senior Dennis Kramer played all 90 minutes in goal for the winners. He tied a season high with six saves.

“Dennis Kramer was very big for us today and made a huge save in the final minutes,” Momeni said.

SPSU moves to 15-5-1 overall while the Broncos finish 16-7-0. Southern Poly returns to the Elite Eight of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship for the second consecutive year and faces the Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raiders in a quarterfinal game in Montgomery on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Central time (5 p.m. Eastern). Lindsey Wilson, the defending NAIA national champion, is the tournament’s No. 1 seed and is the top-ranked squad nationally in the most recent NAIA coaches’ poll.

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