Thursday, November 19, 2015

NAIA Cascade Conference Round-Up: Frontier programs take three of four NAIA berths from CCC tourneys

Penalties, penalties, penalties. That was a trend late last week for the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament for the men and women. Four matches went to the tiebreaker, including both men's semifinals and the women's championship game.

Aside from a pair of close games on the women's side, the opening round quarterfinals were rather one-sided affairs on the scorelines that played out to the seeding. In the close ones, the top-seeded Carroll women took a one-goal decision against long-time foe Great Falls and fifth-seeded Southern Oregon edged out fourth-seeded Rocky Mountain in the other penalty kick showdown.

Rocky Mountain captured the double on the men's side, escaping a semifinal upset in penalties against Evergreen State College and narrowly defeating longtime rival Great Falls in a one-goal decision in the championship game. The third-seeded Argos reached the final to lock up one of the two automatic berths by downing second-seeded Corban in an epic 11-round penalty shootout. The Warriors, however, would go on to receive word a few days later that they received an at-large berth in the national tournament and will play host to Biola, which features former CC Spokane standout Devin Leon.

The women's Final Four was not quite as tightly contested with Carroll winning by two against Southern Oregon and Eastern Oregon dominating College of Idaho for a four-goal victory. The championship game, on the other hand, was quite a stalemate with the two sides deciding matters from the spot. Carroll took the tiebreaker to capture the double, but the NAIA tournament has them on the road for the opening round while EOU is at home.

With the first season of the expanded CCC featuring the four schools from the Frontier Conference concluded, three of the four automatic berths went to the Frontier programs with the Eastern Oregon ladies, which are experiencing a breakthrough campaign, being the lone exception. All four, though, do hail from east of the Cascades.

Here is a look at action last week around the CCC and more:

MEN  #############

Conference Tournament (Willamalane Fields - Springfield, OR)

Quarterfinals - Wednesday, November 11

Warner Pacific 0 :: 3 Great Falls 
Jon-Eric Krans gave the Argos the lead early in the seventh minute on a ball from Renan Zampieri and never looked back. Ian Ooko put the match out of reach with two goals, scoring in the 40th off a corner from Rasmus Madsen and again in the 53rd by heading in a cross from Christopher Chavez. Marc Girones made four saves for the shutout.  MORE [+]

Carroll 0 :: 3 Evergreen 
The Saints took the Geoducks to halftime scoreless, but could not continue to hold back the attack, allowing the opener in the 54th before Willie Spurr scored twice in a 27-second span in the 72nd minute to put the match out of reach. Angel Guerra (Wenatchee, WA) made four saves for the Geoducks in the shutout.  MORE [+]

Northwest 0 :: 4 Corban 
Four different players scored for the Warriors with two in each half. The defense, led by James Williamson (Coeur d'Alene, ID) only allowed two shots on goal in the contest.

College of Idaho 1 :: 3 Rocky Mountain 
The Bears grabbed the early lead five minutes into the contest when Steven Forbes scored on a free kick from about 22 yards out, but Admir Selimovic (Boise, ID) leveled things quickly for the Yotes, heading in a free kick from Kyler Auernhamer 41 seconds later. The two sides remained on level terms for another 50 minutes before Nolan Sherwood's cross into the box deflected in in the 55th. Donovan Luce (Billings, MT) added some insurance in the 69th, finishing a long run with the ball by touching it past the keeper.  MORE [+]

Semifinals - Thursday, November 12

Evergreen (3) 1 :: PK :: 1 (4) Rocky Mountain
The best season in Geoduck history came to a close against the 15th-ranked Bears in a tightly contested match in which Guerra made 10 saves as they were outshot 20-14 by RMC, and another stop in the shootout. Tied 3-3 after the initial five rounds, an Evergreen miss was followed by Colin Gregory (Billings, MT) converting his sixth-round attempt. The Bears broke a defensive stalemate in the 72nd minute when a three-man collision between Guerra, a defender and Rocky's Luce left Luce as the lone man standing, allowing him to knock the ball into the open goal. Despite a good game in goal, Cole Catlin (Billings, MT) bobbled an arcing cross sent in by Crisantos Chavez (CC Spokane) just three minutes later that fell into the goal, giving the Geoducks a quick answer.  MORE [+]

Great Falls (8) 2 :: PK :: 2 (7) Corban 
Just two weeks after an 11-round shootout just over a 100 miles away in Portland saw the Timbers advance in the MLS playoffs, another shootout went a full 11 rounds to decide the semifinal outcome between the second and third seeds of the CCC tournament after a back-and-forth affair. After a scoreless first half, the two sides finally found ways to get on the board in the second with the Argos getting the first. Krans returned the favor from the day before and delivered a cross to Zampieri, whose shot deflected off a defender en route to goal in the 50th minute. The Warriors answered in the 78th when Quamie Dinnall took a pass up the middle from Tim Kagey and sent it first-time past the keeper, but the Argos answered immediately when Lewis Derrett struck 31 seconds later off a short cross from Jordan Byland (Missoula, MT). Corban needed little time, though, to pull even when Travez Whyte who scored from about 25 yards out in the 80th. Corban outshot the Argos 4-1 in overtime and 18-12 overall in the contest, but the the match ultimately went to penalties where things still took a while to decide a winner. After the initial five rounds, the two sides were even at 3-3 with Great Falls rallying from a 3-1 deficit thanks to a Girones save and a shot off the post. The shooters converted in four of the next five sudden-victory rounds before the deciding 11th with Girones making a key save on Whyte's attempt after Rodrigo Souza missed in the seventh round. Tied 7-7, Girones converted himself in the 11th round for the Argos and then denied the shot from Bobby Hutchin for the win, ensuring a spot in the NAIA tournament.  MORE [+]

Final - Saturday, November 14

Great Falls 0 :: 1 Rocky Mountain 
The two longtime foes were locked in a defensive stalemate that saw just one shot on target in the first half and five total for the match. Girones made two saves for the Argos and Catlin made two for the Bears with the lone goal coming in the 77th minute against Argos keeper Henrik Sohn, who had entered the match amidst controversy for a mere five seconds as the referees rules Girones could not re-enter after leaving the field during a stoppage to change his shoe after a broken cleat split the boot. Sohn was forced to enter for the free kick and was unable to stop a perfectly taken 20 yard free kick from Forbes.  MORE [+]

Final Standings 

Rocky Mountain^ 11-1-1... Corban* 11-2-0... Great Falls* 10-3-0... Evergreen* 9-3-1... Carroll* 8-3-2... Warner Pacific* 8-4-1... Northwest U* 8-5-0... College of Idaho* 6-7-0... Southern Oregon 5-8-0... Eastern Oregon 5-8-0... Oregon Tech 4-8-1... Northwest Christian 2-11-0... Multnomah 1-12-0... Walla Walla U 0-13-0 -- ^ Clinched top seed, * Clinched tournament berth (8)


First Round - Saturday, November 21
Marymount California @ Rocky Mountain 1:00
Great Falls @ Vanguard (CA) 2:00
Biola (CA) @ Corban 7:30

ADDITIONAL NAIA - MEN #############

Biola University, which is headed to the northwest for the NAIA tournament, won the GSAC tournament. Devin Leon (CC Spokane) set up the opening goal in the team's semifinal win before being sent off with the score level. Despite the disadvantage, Biola went on to build a two-goal lead and hold on for the 3-2 win over Hope International, and captured the title with a 1-0 victory over Vanguard two days later. Leon currently has four goals and five assists for the season.

WOMEN  #############

Conference Tournament (Willamalane Fields - Springfield, OR)

Wednesday, November 11 

Northwest 0 :: 3 Eastern Oregon 
Freshman Megan Dimmler (Spokane, WA) put the Mountaineers on the board when she drove through the defense in the 21st minute, but EOU were unable to lock up the result until late in the match despite outshooting the Eagles 15-10. In the meanwhile, the defense limited Northwest to just two shots on target that were stopped by Jessica Parker (Boise, ID). With six minutes left, Dimmler combined with Zoe Anderson to feed freshman Alexandria Cuaresma for some insurance and then Cuaresma struck again just under a minute later to put the match out of reach, putting away the rebound of a blocked Crystal Schuder shot.  MORE [+]

Southern Oregon (5) 0 :: PK :: 0 (4) Rocky Mountain
The Bears were outshot 12-4 in the contest, but only allowed the Raiders four shots on target, which Lia Unterholzner stopped. Goalkeeper Samantha Kelley took over in goal in overtime and was untested before the shootout and saw all five shots go into the back of the net. Meanwhile, the Raiders got the winning save on the final shot by Alex Harvey.  MORE [+]

Great Falls 2 :: 3 Carroll 
The Saints grabbed the lead seven minutes into the contest with a free kick strike from Cassidy Hammons (Boise, ID) from about 35 yards out and doubled the lead when a ball from Ylena Gazdik (Boise, ID) was re-directed past keeper Kyra Dorvall (Helena, MT) by Madison Apsey (Boise, ID) in the 37th. Great Falls replied two minutes later when Jessica Watts finished from about eight yards on a cross from Lauren Ozdowski, but the Saints only needed a minute to restore the two-goal advantage with Michaela Kueffler (Billings, MT) scoring from about 15 yards. During a foggy second half the Argos made a late attempt to rally with centerback Ashley Todd (Cardwell, MT) playing up top, scoring in the 87th when she outraced two defenders to the ball and chipped onrushing Carroll keeper Jamie Carter off a long ball sent forward by Sarah Howell (Polson, MT).  MORE:  UGF [+]   CC [+]  

Corban 0 :: 3 College of Idaho 
The Yotes took the lead 21 minutes into the match when Camas Curran (Meridian, ID) scored from about six yards out off a ball played into the middle of the box by Sydney Woods (Meridian, ID). Jamiece Yizar (Pocatello, ID) secured the victory, finding Allie Boyd (Boise, ID) with a cross in the 53rd minute for the second goal and capping the game herself, scoring with seven seconds remaining on a loose ball from about 25 yards away.  MORE [+]

Semifinals - Thursday, November 12

Southern Oregon 0 :: 2 Carroll 
For the second consecutive game, an early free kick from Hammons gave the Saints the lead as she struck from about 35 yards out from goal in the ninth minute. With over seven minutes remaining in the match, another free kick provided some insurance when Brittany Girolami scored from about 25 yards away. Outshot 10-4 in the game Carter made four saves for the shutout.  MORE [+]

Eastern Oregon 4 :: 0 College of Idaho 
The Yotes could not stop Schuder. The senior striker beat a defender and scored 15 minutes into the contest to put the Mountaineers in front. In the 35th minute Makensie Forsyth (Prosser, WA) doubled the advantage. Schuder then scored back-to-back goals in the 59th and 61st minutes, volleying in a corner from Zoe Anderson for the first and chipping the keeper for the second after beating the defense up the middle. Parker made just two saves as EOU outshot the Yotes 17-9 and limited them to just two on target.  MORE: EOU [+]  COI [+]

Final - Saturday, November 14

Eastern Oregon (2) 0 :: PK :: 0 (3) Carroll 
Having already clinched spots in the national tourney, the two sides battled through a scoreless stalemate. Outshot 11-7, Carter made six saves for the Saints during the course of the match and another two in the shootout while the Mountaineers used all three keepers. Parker made one save before being relieved by Tessa Pitzer (Eagle, ID) in the 54th. Then freshman goalkeeper Val Gaffney (Spokane, WA) - the side's penalty specialist according to coach Justin Wagar - entered for the shootout and made two key saves, but a missed Mountaineer shot in the fourth round proved to be the difference. The Mountaineers were the only team to not allow a goal in the tournament.  MORE:  EOU [+]   CC [+] 

Final Standings 

Carroll^ 9-1-1... College of Idaho* 9-2-0... Eastern Oregon* 9-2-0... Rocky Mountain* 7-3-1... Southern Oregon* 7-4-0... Northwest U* 6-4-1... Corban* 4-6-1... Great Falls* 2-5-4... Oregon Tech 3-7-1... Northwest Christian 2-9-0... Evergreen 2-9-0... Warner Pacific 1-9-1  -- ^ Clinched top seed, * Clinched tournament berth (8)


First Round - Saturday, November 21
Biola (CA) @ Eastern Oregon 1:00
Carroll @ Spring Arbor 1:30

-- INWsn --