OCU Defeats #1 Ranked Northland International
DETROIT, MI - The NCCAA national men's soccer spotlight was shining down on Detroit, Michigan this weekend as #2 ranked Ohio Christian University took on #1 ranked Northland International University. OCU came into the game having won both previous matchups with Northland to lead the all-time series 2-0. Both of those games came down the final whistle with the Trailblazers winning a 2010 regular season game in double overtime by a score of 1-0. The 2nd game was another nailbiter in the 2010 NCCAA National Semi-Finals where OCU pulled out a 2-1 victory in overtime.
This third meeting would once again prove to be a memorable performance that would come down to the wire. Northland struck first as Josh Netz scored on a penalty kick in the 35th minute. The would be the only scoring in the first half as Ohio Christian would go into the intermission trailing 1-0.
The Trailblazers rallied back in the 2nd half when Emanuel Harris setup Aaron Young on a near post blast in the 57th minute. The goal by Young shifted the momentum and tied the score at 1-1. Harris, who assisted beautifully on the goal, was playing in his first game back from a recent hamstring injury where he was forced to miss an entire week of action.
The momentum shift contined in OCU's favor just 18 minutes later when the recently recovered Harris struck again. OCU senior, Dexter Chapman setup Emanuel Harris to find the back of the net on the go ahead goal in the 75th minute. The goal gave Ohio Christian a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
Ohio Christian went on to win the game 2-1 to extend their all time series lead over Northland to 3-0. All three games have been decided by one goal with a total of three overtimes in the series. Northland outshot OCU 15-10 in the contest with OCU having more scoring opportunities. OCU committed 18 fouls compared to 9 by Northland. The two goals by Ohio Christian were the first goals that NIU had surrendered all season.
"Today was a regular season match with national implications and postseason feel," said head coach Josh Murton. "It is a game that will help us get more prepared for postseason play. The second half was pretty big for us because we had great composure and solid communication. We showed that we have the ability to deal with high pressure situations today and that is a big step for us. I am proud of what we did today but now it's time to focus on Shawnee State."