Nov. 21, 2010

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - As has become his custom, Steven Beattie factored into every scoring play for the Northern Kentucky University men's soccer team, which advanced to the NCAA Division II national semifinals with a 3-0 win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday.

The Norse (18-2-3) will meet Dowling (N.Y.) on Dec. 2 at Louisville, Ky., in a rematch of the 2008 NCAA semifinal game. Dowling was victorious in that game, 2-1 in overtime.

NKU Men's Soccer Steven Beattie and Michael Holder celebrate after Holder's goal in the 67th minute extended the NKU lead to 2-0. NKU struggled to find the net in the opening stanza, putting just one of their eight first-half shots on target. It wasn't until the 50th minute that the Norse finally struck, when Beattie settled a throw-in from Anthony Meyer and fired a shot from eight yards out to open the scoring.

The scoring came in bunches for the Norse after that. Michael Holder extended the lead for NKU in the 67th minute after Beattie lobbed a pass into the box for a 50-50 chance with the goalkeeper. Holder got just enough effort on the ball to push it across the goal line for his 13th of the year.

Beattie struck again just 20 seconds later, taking a long pass from Jordan Kotsopolous towards the corner before uncorking a low angle shot just off the end line and sneaking it inside the back post.

Beattie now has 24 goals on the season, surpassing his single-season record of 21 goals set in 2008.

West Virginia Wesleyan (16-6-2) got a great chance to pull close in the 80th minute when NKU goalkeeper Michael Lavric got pulled off his line for a ball. The Bobcats' Jacob Maitland was able to flick a header past Lavric's extended hands before Kevin Donnelly came back and headed the ball just over the crossbar to thwart the scoring attempt and help the Norse keep the clean sheet.

Lavric made two saves in the victory for the Norse, who outshot the Bobcats by a 16-6 margin in the contest.