TULSA, Okla.-The Golden Eagles advance to the Summit League Tournament in dramatic fashion on Senior Day, defeating the No.1 seed Western Illinois 3-2 with a goal by freshman Trevor Laffoon in the final minute of regulation.
ORU (6-10-1, 3-2-1 Summit League) was in a three-way tie for third place at the beginning of the day and needed a victory to qualify for the postseason. The victory over WIU will likely give the Golden Eagles the No.2 seed.
Western Illinois (10-6-1, 4-2 Summit League) came into the match with the No.1 seed locked up, but played hard as they looked to spoil the day for the Golden Eagles. The Leathernecks took the early lead, and ended the first half with a 1-0 lead off a goal by junior Nathan Bruinsma in the 42nd minute. But Western Illinois could not hold the lead, thanks to three second half goals by junior J.D. James, Freshman Marco Hernandez and the game winner by Laffoon.
The second Half scoring started with James converting on a penalty kick in the 51st minute after senior keeper Andy Ryan took out the legs of Hamilton as he chased a ball toward the left side of the box. The controversial call sparked some tempers, and a shoving match ensued. No cards were handed out on the play, and the score was tied 1-1.
The Leathernecks fired back 70th minute with a unassisted goal by senior Alexis Dominguez.
Another wild play was needed for the Golden Eagles to pull even again. In the 74th minute Andy Ryan charged a ball outside the box that was being chased by a western Illinois defender and Marco Hernandez, when the defender accidentally kicked the ball over Ryan's head as he tried to clear it, giving Hernandez the easy header into an open goal to even the score 2-2.
It looked like the game was headed into overtime when a foul on Western Illinois set up a free kick with just over a minute remaining in regulation. The Kick was cleared by the Leathernecks, but it was almost immediately put back in the box by the Golden Eagles. A shot attempt by Hamilton and junior Aaron Birk were all deflected away in the box before Laffoon settled the ball and sent the shot to the back of the net with just 55 seconds remaining in the game.
The fans flooded the field when the game ended and the Golden Eagles qualified for their second consecutive Summit League tournament. They await the results of tonight's matches for IUPUI and IPFW to see who they will play in the semi-finals.
Ryan Finished the night with five saves for Western Illinois, and Freshman keeper Nick Petolick earned the win with four saves.
The Golden Eagles honored their two seniors, Jarrett Hamilton and Josh Gomillion, before the start of the game.
Gomillion played three seasons at Centenary University where he earned All-Summit league honors two years in a row before transferring to ORU. He appeared in five matches for the Golden Eagles.
Hamilton appeared in 63 matches for the Golden Eagles, scoring 43 points with 17 goals and nine assists, including seven game winning goals. Jarrett earned First Team All-League and All Tournament honors in 2010, and led the Golden Eagles in scoring in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011.
The Summit League Tournament begins November 11 in Macomb, Illinois.