Youlormans Hillaire‘s slap shot with 1:06 left in overtime gave his team the win as the fourth-seeded Trinity Baptist College Eagles defeated the #1 seed Kansas Christian College Falcons 1-0 in a thrilling opener to the NCCAA Division 2 National Championship Tournament.
Hillaire took a tap pass behind his back from Juan Grimaldo inside the penalty box. Hilliare used his body to shield his defender from the ball; he then positioned himself inside the ball on the right side of the box and slapped it hard into the center of the net
Trinity and Kansas Christian matched defensive strength throughout regulation and the first nine minutes of the overtime period. Both teams stopped numerous attacks from the opposition, and both offenses missed out on scattered opportunities throughout the game.
Trinity won the time of possession, but each team totaled 15 shots; Kansas had seven shots on goal (four from Pedro Alvarez) to Trinity’s four (one each from Hillaire, Grimaldo, Alvaro Poveda, and Jeremie Tilus). Kansas Christian’s Stephen Castaneda just missed on separate trips downfield in the second half; a header was saved, and a slap shot missed wide right. Earlier in the game, two headers from Trinity’s Clayton McDaniel got out of the goalkeeper’s reach but missed the goal by less than a few feet.
Kyle Aultman had six saves for Trinity, and Mylens Calixte knocked away another in Minute 81, the third Falcon shot between Minute 78 to that point. For Kansas Christian, Matheus Souza saved three, including a potential game saver late in the first half when he dove and punched Poveda’s shot out of the top right corner. Souza came in with a 1.21 goals-allowed average, and Kansas Christian — the #1 ranked team in NCCAA Division 2 throughout the regular season — averaged 4.85 goals scored per game in 21 match-ups coming into tonight’s play.
Trinity takes a 1-0 lead in Pool A, and Kansas Christian drops to 0-1. Trinity has Thursday off while Kansas Christian plays Bob Jones University. Trinity plays Bob Jones Friday night at 7:30 p.m. EST. A win puts the Eagles into the national championship game on Saturday versus the Pool B winner. Should the three teams each win one game, tiebreakers will determine who advances on Saturday. The first tiebreaker is total goals allowed in pool play.
See the updated results and schedule on NCCAA.org.
NOTE: Earlier in the day, Trinity’s Clayton McDaniel was named as one of the NCCAA’s men’s soccer student-athletes of the year.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC
PHOTO: Bob Jones University Live Stream Screen Shot