IRVINE, CALIF. (Nov. 17, 2012) -- The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's soccer team already made history before Saturday's NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round game against Concordia University - Irvine, but the Saints were hoping to continue their fate through to a trip to Alabama for the 54th Annual NAIA National Championships. A goal with seven minutes left in the game was all Concordia needed to end the Saints dream of qualifying for the final Sweet 16 round.
Head Coach Shane Hurley said, "The men played with an admirable amount of determination and discipline in a very tight game with a top flight competitor. The 2012 team was simply historic because of those two factors alone. They have set the bar high for our future soccer teams to beat."
The 2012 team is the first at OLLU to win both the Red River Athletic Conference regular season title and the Conference Tournament title. Men's soccer, along with volleyball, are the two original teams that kicked off intercollegiate athletics at OLLU in 2007. The Saints end their season with a 9-2 conference record and 12-8-1 overall.
With the win, Concordia, the No. 3-seed, will advance for the first time since 2008 and fifth time overall.
The game, played mostly on Concordia's side during the first period, featured 10 shots from the Eagles and three saves from Saints goalkeeper Martin Hansson. Senior Aaron Guerrero was the only one to take a shot for the Saints. The second period was still vastly defensive for the Saints, but they were able to find more opportunities to score. During the 70th minute, Osiris Estrada jolted the ball toward the net, but it bounced off the right post.
Hansson prevented several legitimate shots, but one went through at the 84th minute from Eagles freshman Joel Palomares.
The Saints had five shots during the second half, one on goal from freshman Giovanni Sierra. All in all, the Eagles took 19 shots, five on goal, while the Saints compiled six, one on goal.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click here: www.championsofcharacter.org.
Luis A. Lárraga
Sports Information Assistant