By Nick Misiak
The eighth seeded Schoolcraft Mens Soccer Team began round robin play in the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament on Wed. Nov. 19 against Coffeyville (KS), tying the twelfth seeded Red Ravens 2-2.
Freshman Jon Quintana and sophomore Nate Bergeson scored for the Ocelots, who earned a point in the tie and hold the fate of their tournament hopes in their own hands. A win over top seeded Iowa Western tomorrow would clinch Group A for Schoolcraft, ensuring them a place in the National Semi-finals.
Qunitana opened the scoring for the Ocelots in the fifteenth minute, scoring on a free kick from 35 yards out to give the Ocelots an early 1-0 advantage.
Coffeyville sophomore Armando Hipolito scored on a free kick with about four minutes left in the first half to tie the score at 1-1. The score would remain unchanged going into the half.
The Red Ravens took a 2-1 lead about 15 minutes into the second half, chipping a shot from the right side of the box over the outstretched arms of Schoolcraft goalkeeper Andres Hernandez.
Schoolcraft would respond quickly though, capitalizing on sloppy play by Coffeyville. After a Red Raven defender misplayed a ball back towards his own goalie, Bergeson headed the ball over the left shoulder of the Coffeyville goalkeeper and into the back right corner of the net to tie the score at 2-2.
The score would remain the same until the end of regulation time.
Schoolcraft now stands at 0-0-1 (1 point) in the tournament, good for second in the Group A standings behind Iowa Western, who leads the group with a record of 1-0-0 (3 points). A Schoolcraft win over the Reivers would jump them to the top of the Group A standings and would extend the Ocelots tournament run.
Schoolcraft and Iowa Western play tomorrow, Thurs. Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. EST. The game can be watched via the internet courtesy of NJCAA TV here: http://www.team1sports.com/index.php/videoPlayer/view?broadcast=92543