Drury shocks defending champs
Seventh-seeded Panthers keep season alive with victory
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- Seventh-seeded Drury used first-half goals from Matt Hutchison and Scott Stiffler to stun defending national champion and No. 2 seed Northern Kentucky 2-1 in the opening round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament on Saturday.
The Panthers (12-7) will play Sunday's No. 6 seed Bellarmine vs. No. 3 seed Indianapolis winner next Friday at a time to be determined in Kansas City, where top-seeded Rockhurst defeated No. 8 seed Missouri Science and Technology 3-0 Saturday to earn the host role for the remainder of the tournament. The Hawks will face the Lewis-Quincy winner.
|Other GRLVC Tournament Results|
|No. 1 Rockhurst 3, No. 8 Missouri S&T 0|
|No. 4 Quincy 2, Lewis 1|
|• Conference Championship Central|
Northern Kentucky, ranked No. 4 nationally and a 1-0 winner against Drury in Springfield in late September, watched the Panthers take a 1-0 lead on Hutchison's fifth goal of the season 6:09 into the match.
The Norse, the top-ranked team in the latest DII Midwest Region rankings, answered six minutes later with an unassisted goal by Kevin Donnelly to knot the score at 1-1, but Drury then countered again when Stiffler -- the hero with his goal in the 88th minute in Drury's 1-0 win at Missouri S & T on Wednesday that was necessary for the Panthers even to make the GLVC Tourney field -- scored again.
This time, Stiffler connected from 30 yards out to inside the left post for his second career goal.
Drury picked up the victory despite being outshot 19-6 by the Norse, who had nine corner kicks in the match to just three by the Panthers. But of all those shot attempts, Drury had two on goal to one by the Norse, who fell to 13-4 on the season.
The Panthers have reached the GLVC Tournament semifinals for just the second time in their seven-year history in the league. The last time came in 2009, when they claimed their first GLVC Championship.