Men's Soccer Downs UMKC to Reach Summit League Title Game
"Obviously it's an emotional roller coaster when you go to penalties," said ORU head coach Steve Hayes. "It's just a great victory for us. The guys executed the game plan as well as we could have asked them."
The Golden Eagles appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead in the 81st minute, but Johnny Chavez was flagged for offsides. Earlier in the half, Sterling Copeland had a shot attempt stopped by a diving Ken Cooper. UMKC also had its opportunities when ORU goalkeeper Andrew Techanchuk tried to clear the ball but was blocked by UMKC's Taylor Craig, which nearly resulted in a goal. In the 80th minute the Kangaroos' Jimmy Simon was open about eight yards from the goal, but his shot went directly into Techanchuk, who made the routine stop.
The first half was a midfield struggle and ORU held a 6-5 shot advantage at halftime while UMKC posted a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal. ORU's best scoring chance came when Hamilton settled a long throw by Tyler Vining then volleyed the ball wide right. UMKC's prime opportunity came when Simon struck a hard shot at the near post from 14 yards out that forced a good save from Techanchuk.
ORU and UMKC ended up even with 14 shots each and the Kangaroos held a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal. UMKC's John Bayron Sosa, named Summit League Offensive Player of the Year the day before, totaled a match-high five shots.
The upset marked the second straight season that the No. 4 seed has toppled the No. 1 seed to open tournament play.
"Historically, the number one seed has been a tough place to play from in this tournament," said Hayes. "We were cautiously optimistic, believed in our plan and the players executed it. We came in with confidence, but a tremendous amount of respect for UMKC. It happened to work out for us today."
Oral Roberts will now await the winner of the day's second match between No. 2 IUPUI and No. 3 Oakland. Sunday's championship match is set for noon ET.