SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University men's soccer team is moving on to the semifinals in the 2019 Men's Soccer WHAC Tournament Championship as they defeat Aquinas (Mich.) College, 2-1, in dramatic fashion. A late second half goal lifted the Blue Devils to a playoff victory on their home turf.
The Blue Devils were the first team to strike in the intense playoff match. Fast forwarding to the 32nd minute, Sean Humphries lined up a LTU corner kick, and placed in just in the right spot to allow Kevin Wright to score his ninth goal of the season with the header. The Blue Devils continued to put pressure on the Saints in the first half, as it seemed that the ball was on the Saints' side for most of the first half. However, the Blue Devils could only strike for one goal in the half, and went into the break, up 1-0.
It was evident that the Saints made some necessary halftime adjustments, as they came out aggressive and the time of possession seemed to have flipped. Constant pressure by the Saints gave them a number of scoring chances. They capitalized in the 60th minute on a costly turnover by the Blue Devils and excellent placement by the Saints forward, who struck for 20 yards out. The ball just made it by the outstretched Max Jewett and tied the game at 1-1. For almost 30 minutes, neither team was able to find the back of the net. Alvaro Merino was able to make a run and delivered a perfect crosser that found the foot of Juan Jaramillo, and Jaramillo snuck it by the Saints' goalkeeper in the 89th minute giving the Blue Devils a 2-1 advantage. The score would not change in the last minute of the match and the Blue Devils advanced to the semifinals.
It was an emotional game, and Head Coach Will Dyer was extremely proud of the way his guys battled, "We played great in the first half, and we even had some good chances that we should have capitalized on. In the second half, the Saints came at us. The intensity had to be matched and our boys had to respond, and they did just that after Aquinas tied it up. Hats off to Aquinas, they are a very good team and it was a fun match to be a part of.
The Blue Devils will be facing off against the regular season champions from Indiana Tech. on Wednesday, November 13th. The time for the match has not yet been determined. Stay tuned for updates on the semifinal match.