Dec. 2, 2010

LOUISVILLLE, Ky. - Northern Kentucky struck for three first-half goals and coasted to a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Dowling in a semifinal match of the Division II Men's Soccer Championship on Thursday night.

Striker Steven Beattie led the first-half assault for the Norse (19-2-3) with two goals.

The first goal for the Norse, however, came in the second minute by Paul Andrews as he popped a header over Dowling goalkeeper Chris Kucera from a throw-in by defender Anthony Meyer.

Beattie maintained the strong Norse attack in the early going by earning a Dowling turnover and converting the ensuing breakaway by tapping the ball past Kucera. The score gave Northern Kentucky a 2-0 lead in the 10th minute.

In the 38th minute, Beattie laced a free kick past Kucera from 20 yards out, providing the Norse a comfortable 3-0 advantage.

Dowling pulled closer less than a minute later as midfielder Sulemana Ali put home a goal for the Golden Lions off a scramble in front of the net.

Michael Holder scored the final goal of the match in the 83rd minute, tapping the ball past Kucera on the near post.

The Norse outshot Dowling, 11-5. Dowling concluded its season with a 12-2-6 overall record.

The Norse will look to capture the championship Saturday against fifth-ranked Rollins College at 3 p.m. ET.