Top 10 of 2012-13: #1 Late Season Playoff Push & OT Magic for Men's Soccer
No need for a drumroll to unveil the top spot of 2012-13 as many knew it was the way. Checking in at our top spot in the #MGTop10 of 2012-13 is men's soccer for their great 2012 run and memorable moments late in the WHAC season and into the postseason. We'll head back to where the late season momentum started – when the team hosted the WHAC's first place team and a team who came into the contest receiving votes nationally for the NAIA Top 25 – the Cornerstone University Golden Eagles. Facing their toughest test to date of the 2012 season, the Mustangs went on to hand the Golden Eagles their first, and only, regular season conference blemish of the 2012 campaign. A Jordan Berry overtime goal sparked a celebration and acted as a launching pad for late season success for the Mustangs.
From there, the team went on to complete the sweep of all three WHAC schools situated in Grand Rapids to earn the fifth seed heading into the WHAC Playoffs. The seeding paired the Mustangs against the number four seed and first-round host, Indiana Tech Warriors. After settling for a 1-1 tie at home against the Warriors on Oct. 3, the Mustangs rallied on the road exactly one month later for an amazing 2-1 second overtime victory in a very tough night game environment at Indiana Tech. The overtime tally to send the Mustangs to the WHAC Semifinals was once again courtesy of Jordan Berry.
In total, the men's soccer team was the only Marygrove program to finish the inaugural season of WHAC play with a winning record. In turn, the winning record propelled the team to the only playoff appearance, and subsequently the lone playoff win, of the 2012-13 athletics season for Marygrove Athletics.
RELIVE: Below you can find the original recaps from the Cornerstone and Indiana Tech games.
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DETROIT, Mich. -- A wild first half that showcased penalty kick goals for each team was only the beginning of an exciting contest that ended with a 3-2 overtime upset win for the Mustangs (5-7-1; 3-1-2 WHAC) over the first place Cornerstone University Golden Eagles (9-3-1; 6-1 WHAC).
The win resulted in the first conference loss for the Golden Eagles and their first loss since Sept. 19th against Saint Xavier University.
The Mustangs were able to get on the board first after Jad El-Zein (Tyre, Lebanon/Fordson) sent home a penalty kick after a Golden Eagle foul in the box. The 1-nil tally gave the Mustangs plenty of momentum as the home team outplayed the favored Golden Eagles for most of the first half.
In the 40th minute, the Golden Eagles got the call they were looking for when the Mustangs were called for a foul in the box. The ensuing penalty kick was made to even the game (1-1) at the half.
The second half started off strong for the Golden Eagles after a 47th minute goal put them ahead, 2-1. The Mustangs would fight back with a second half tally of their own when the WHAC's leading goal scorer, Jordan Berry (Dearborn, Mich./Crestwood), took a ball in the box in the 57th minute and beat the keeper in the upper 90 to knot the game up, 2-2.
The game would remain deadlocked at 2-2 and head to overtime.
In the extra period, Berry would strike again in the 96th with a rebound blast to the back of the net off of an Abdoullie Jallow (Bansang, The Gambia/Rust) shot that the keeper couldn't corral. The goal gave the Mustangs one of their most important victories in program history after knocking off a Golden Eagle team that was nearly ranked in the NAIA Top-25 and previously unbeaten in conference.
Freshman keeper Christian Bryant (Plymouth, Mich./Southfield Christian) came up huge in net for the Mustangs with an impressive 13 saves.
The Mustangs will continue conference play Wednesday (Oct. 17) at nearby UM-Dearborn. The contest will be played under the lights 7:00pm from Dearborn Edsel Ford High School.
GAME NOTES: After scoring the game-winner in overtime, senior forward Jordan Berry now has 16 goals on the season. The win over Cornerstone marked the first win in Marygrove history over any Golden Eagle team.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The incredible ride that is the 2012 men's soccer season will continue after the Mustangs toppled the fourth seed Warriors of Indiana Tech, 2-1, in 2OT. The win sends the Mustangs to the semi-final round of action.
Saturday's (Nov. 3) under the lights quarterfinal match featuring the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference No. 4 and No. 5 seeds lived up to its expectations as the closely-seeded teams battled for over 100 minutes of soccer before the contest could be decided.
In the first half, WHAC First Team All-Conference member Jordan Berry (Dearborn, Mich./Crestwood) put the Mustangs on top,1-nil, on a sliding goal assisted from WHAC Newcomer of the Year, Abdoullie Jallow (Bansang, The Gambia/Rust).
The 1-nil tally would hold for a moment until the Warriors were able to draw a Mustang foul in the box to earn a penalty kick. The ensuing PK was converted by the host Warriors to even up the game, 1-1, heading into the halftime break.
The second half featured plenty of defense as the Mustangs' backline continued to hold their shape. A couple late chances would be turned away by the Warriors' keeper to send the quarterfinal game to overtime.
After the first overtime could not provide a winner, the teams headed to a second extra frame in which Berry once again used a Jallow assist to knock in the game-winning goal. The golden goal victory lifted the fifth-seeded Mustangs to victory on a cold night in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Amidst all the action, Christian Bryant (Plymouth, Mich./Southfield Christian) played a solid game in net for the Mustangs. The freshman keeper – along with great play from the midfield and backline – refused to give up a goal aside from the PK to help fuel the first conference postseason victory for any Marygrove program.
"A lot of credit goes out to our defenders who held firm under pressure tonight," said head coach Matt Johnson. "The defense was strong and [Jordan] Berry did what he does best to help us get the victory."
With the win, the Mustangs move on to play Tuesday (Nov. 6) night at 7:00pm in Grand Rapids against conference top seed, Cornerstone University. The Mustangs and Golden Eagles met once this season (at Marygrove) with the host Mustangs edging the top seed, 3-2, in OT.