The Northwood University men's soccer team fell 5-2 to Saginaw Valley State in the regional matchup of the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship Sunday afternoon (November 16).
The Timberwolves finish the season with a 14-4-1 record, while the Cardinals (14-4-2) move on to play Quincy at Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Okla. for the third round of the Tournament this weekend.
Following a thirty minute delay to the start of the game to clear the field of snow, Northwood capitalized early with an open net goal just 1:43 into the match. While a Saginaw Valley defender anticipated to lay the ball back to the keeper, Gino Pasquali (Shelby Twp., Mich. / Eisenhower) intercepted the pass for a wide open goal to put the Timberwolves ahead 1-0. The Cardinals responded with a pair of goals in the 40th minute, on a penalty kick and rebounded shot, to pull ahead 2-1 at the half. Saginaw Valley tallied seven corner kicks in the opening period, to Northwood's two.
Weather seemed to play a significant role in the second half, as the Cardinals took advantage netting three additional goals to lead 5-1 with less than thirty minutes to go in the half. NU added a second goal at 63:52 on another Michael Ankoviak (West Bloomfield, Mich. / Walled Lake Northern) header off a James Vaughan (Bexhill, England) corner kick. From that point on, the Timberwolves increased the attacking pressure but were unable to connect on any of the four more shots in the final 22'.
For the match, each team finished with 16 shots. Saginaw Valley maintained the advantage in corner kicks (10-8), while Northwood's keeper Johannes Sterobo (Odense, Denmark / Tornbjerg) registered five saves. There were a total of 29 fouls and five cautions issued.
Pasquali and Ankoviak were responsible for Northwood's goals, while Vaughan registered four shots on goal and an assist in the match. Keaton Levock (Clinton Twp., Mich. / Niagara) added three shots.