The Ashland University men's soccer team overcame a 2-0 deficit and beat Parkside in overtime, 3-2, in the GLIAC Tournament semifinal on Friday (Nov. 2) afternoon in Saginaw, Mich.
The Eagles (7-9-3), in just their third season after a three-year hiatus, will play for the GLIAC championship on Sunday (Nov. 4) against Northwood with the winner earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Redshirt-freshman Kieran Paterson scored the game-tying goal in the 86th minute and bagged the golden goal in the 97th minute to send the Eagles through to the championship match.
Parkside (9-7-1) took a 2-0 lead in the first 17 minutes of the game and were not able to generate chances in the early portions of the game while going against a stiff wind.
The Eagles were in a similar situation last Friday against Saginaw Valley, trailing by two goals after 10 minutes. AU came back to draw the Cardinals, 2-2, at Ferguson Field that day.
Ashland started its comeback in the 38th minute as sophomore Justin Libertowski scored on a deflected free kick to cut the deficit in half. He is now tied for the GLIAC lead with 10 goals on the season.
The Rangers took their 2-1 lead into halftime and held the advantage throughout most of the second half. Parkside garnered most of the possession in the second half as well, but the Eagles held firm at the back.
The Eagles got new life in the 86th minute as junior Cameron Mendel played a ball into a dangerous area where Paterson nodded it into the goal to tie the game.
The game went into overtime where Ashland held a 3-1 lead in shots as they dominated play against the regular season runner-up.
The winner came in the 97th minute as junior John Duldner played a long ball 40 yards upfield where Paterson headed the ball to the left wing where Mendel ran onto it. He played a short cross that deflected to Paterson who slid the ball past the UWP keeper for the game-winner.
The Eagles have now put themselves into position to win their first GLIAC championship since 2010, which is also the last time they qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Kickoff for the GLIAC Championship game will be at noon on Sunday. The No. 6-seed Eagles beat No. 4-seed Northwood twice in the regular season.