Yellowjackets advance to UMAC title game
The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s soccer team advanced to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship game with a 2-1 overtime win over Northwestern Thursday afternoon at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.
The Yellowjackets will now play the St. Scholastica Saints for the third straight season in the championship game, which is at 5 p.m. Saturday at Duluth’s Public School Stadium.
The winner will receive the UMAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament.
The Saints advanced to the title game with a 2-1 win over Minnesota Morris.
UWS defeated Northwestern 3-0 on Oct. 17 and things look like they were trending the same way when the Yellowjackets took a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when Gunnar O’Neil-Sengbu tapped in a cross inside the box with assists from Blake Doyea and Eric Watson.
UWS seemingly took a 2-0 lead in the 34th minute on a goal by Mualigbe Keita. But after Keita’s initial shot on goal, he was called offside, and his goal waived off.
UWS remained in control until half time and it wasn’t until the 77th minute that the Eagles found the equalizer with a goal from Taylor Modaff off a corner kick.
Neither squad could muster another goal in regulation and the game moved into overtime.
The teams traded passes to find an advantage in the opening minute of overtime, and UWS found its scoring chance 1:32 into OT when Doyea burst up the middle of the field with the ball and was tackled at the 20-yard-line, which resulted in a yellow card to Northwestern and a free kick to the ’Jackets.
Fernando Bicalho was selected to attempt the kick and he didn’t disappoint the UWS fans as he kicked the ball over a wall of Eagle defenders and into the top-left corner of the goal for the game-winner.
Dalton VonKaenel finished with five saves for UWS, including a critical one in the opening minute of the game and two in waning minutes of the second half.
Turner Main had two saves for Northwestern.
’JACKET JOTTINGS: UWS outshot Northwestern 11-10 and had a 9-6 advantage on corner shots.
This will be the third different site in Duluth in the last three years for the UMAC Tournament Championship between the “Bridge Rivals.” … CSS prevailed last year in PKs at Saints Field and won 5-0 in 2015 at Ordean Stadium. … The Saints won the lone regular season meeting at Saints Field by a 2-1 score on Oct. 3. … The last time the two teams met at Public Schools Stadium, UWS prevailed 1-0 in double overtime in 2011. … UWS also beat the Saints in overtime in 2006 at PSS.
Northwestern......................... 0 1 0 — 1
UW-Superior........................... 1 0 1 — 2
First Half — 1. UWS, Gunnar O’Neill-Senglb 4 (Blake Doyea, Eric Watson), 26:17.
Second Half — 2. N, Taylor Madaff 2 (Daniel Clotarie), 76:28.
OT — 3. Fernando Bicalho 6 (free kick), 91:32.
Saves — Turner Main, N, 2. Dalton VonKaenel, UWS, 5. A—176.
UMAC Men’s Soccer Tournament
Monday, Oct. 30
Minnesota Morris 1, Martin Luther 0
Thursday, Nov. 2
St. Scholastica 2, Minnesota Morris 1
UW-Superior 2, Northwestern 1, OT
Saturday, Nov. 4
UW-Superior at St. Scholastica, 5 p.m.