Columbia College men's soccer advances in NAIA tournament

Saturday, November 17, 2012 | 7:35 p.m. CST; updated 11:09 p.m. CST, Saturday, November 17, 2012
The Columbia College men's soccer team defeated Cardinal Stritch on Saturday at R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium in the opening round of the NAIA national tournament.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia College men's soccer team won its opening round game of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament in overtime penalty kicks.

The game against Cardinal Stritch University on Saturday at R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium went scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods to force the shootout.

The Cougars (14-1-6) missed just one of their nine penalty kicks with a successful penalty kick from junior midfielder Antonio Ayres giving Columbia College the advantage over the Wolves, who converted on seven of their nine chances.

Both teams misfired on their first kicks. Cougars goalkeeper Matt McKenna recorded a diving save on Curtis Hunter’s shot, but Rafael Ramos hit the left post on his attempt for Columbia College.

The next seven kicks were successful for both sides before Cardinal Stritch’s Gustavo Esquivel hit the crossbar, setting the stage for Ayres’ game-winner.

The Cougars advance to the second round where they will face either the University of Mobile or Texas Wesleyanin a game scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Montgomery, Ala.

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