Ohio Wesleyan blanks Hope
Bloecher and Wall each score a goal for the Battling Bishops
DELAWARE, Ohio -- Freshman midfielder Colton Bloecher and senior forward Travis Wall scored goals to give Ohio Wesleyan a 2-1 win against Hope on Saturday at Roy Rike Field.
With the win, Ohio Wesleyan advances to the NCAA semifinals to be played Dec. 2 in San Antonio, Texas. This will be the Bishops' eighth trip to the national semifinals under head coach Jay Martin, and Ohio Wesleyan's ninth overall.
The Bishops took the lead less than 3 minutes into the game when Bloecher launched a 22-yard rocket into the back of the Hope goal.
Wall nearly made it 2-0 just over a minute later, sending a shot on goal that Hope keeper Logan Neil grabbed for the save.
Ohio Wesleyan had another chance to increase its lead to 2-0 later in the half when senior forward Tyler Bryant got off a shot in traffic inside the box, but the shot was cleared off the line by the Hope defense.
The Bishops cashed in on their next chance, though. Ohio Wesleyan had earned a corner kick, and sophomore midfielder Matt Shadoan sent the ball into the box. Junior defender Kit North headed the ball to Wall near the right post, and Wall headed it home in the 53rd minute for a 2-0 Ohio Wesleyan lead.
Down but by no means out, Hope started assembling some scoring chances, with the best opportunities coming off the foot of Shaun Groetsma, who put a shot on goal that junior goalkeeper Paul Hendricks stopped in the 72nd minute. In the 83rd minute, Groetsma ripped a shot on which Hendricks made a good play to tip the ball over the crossbar.
That play set up a string of 3 consecutive corner kicks for the Flying Dutchmen, but the Ohio Wesleyan defense was able to hold Hope without a shot.
After an Ohio Wesleyan clear attempt in the 87th minute, the Bishops were called for a foul near midfield, with Hope awarded a restart near the center circle. With the rest of the Hope squad working for position in the box and a 15-mile-per-hour wind at his back, Neil came over the midfield line to take the restart and sent the ball just left of the goal, where Nicholas Heyboer headed it home to bring the Flying Dutchmen within 2-1 with 3:27 left in regulation time.
The resurging Dutchmen got a look at the tying goal less than a minute later, but Jason Muller's shot went wide left, and Tarwo Konbloa's shot was blocked 30 seconds after that.
Hope had a final chance after Ohio Wesleyan was called offside with 30 seconds to go, but David Whitaker's blast with :13 left sailed over the crossbar.
Hope outshot Ohio Wesleyan, 17-15. Hendricks and Neil each finished with 3 saves in their respective goals.