Ohio Northern edges Williams 3-2, reaches first national title match
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Ohio Northern (25-2-0) will take on Messiah (22-0-2) at Blossom Soccer Stadium on Saturday after it defeated Williams 3-2 in Friday's semifinal game. Messiah edged Loras in overtime 1-0 in the other semifinal contest.
With the win, Ohio Northern coach Brent Ridenour will lead his Polar Bears into their first NCAA Division III championship game.
The Polar Bears advanced to last year's NCAA third round, and are experiencing their best campaign in school history.
''We are excited to be here, and it's been a goal of ours for a long time. We always talk about our team defense, and we have to play good defense every game. We were happy to win, but you could see in the guy's faces that we gave up two goals." Ridenour said.
Williams (16-2-4) got on the board first in the ninth minute on a goal by User Kushaina. Williams' Nate Bascom tied the game at one with a scoring play in the 16th minute.
Six minutes into the second half, Bascom picked up the assist as Ohio Northern took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Jeremy Barnes. Austin Windsor scored in the 78th minute as the Polar Bears led 3-1. Peter Christman scored in the final two minutes for Williams, but Ohio Northern held on for the win.
Bascom scored his 56th collegiate goal and tied the Ohio Northern career scoring record.
"I hadn't scored in a couple of games," Bascom said. "Our midfielder Cameron Johnson sent me a nice through ball. I just had to take a couple of touches and saw it go home."
The goalkeepers had excellent games, with Than Finan of Williams recording eight saves and Ohio Northern's Mac Church making six saves.