The No. 8 Bethel University Men’s Wildcat soccer squad saw their season come to a close in heartbreaking fashion Saturday in the NAIA National Championship McKenzie Bracket final at Wildcat Stadium. The Wildcats fell to No. 17 Mid-America Christian 3-2 in double overtime.
MACU (15-3-3) advances to the next round of the NAIA National Championship which will be held in Columbia County, Georgia May 4-10. The Wildcats finished the season at 13-2.
With eight minutes left in the first period, Bethel took the lead on a Damani Haris goal. Pascal Mohungsi had the assist. Early in the second period, MACU’s Cesar Ramirez had the equalizer to tie the match. At the 64:54 mark Ramirez struck again to give the Evangels the lead at 2-1. The Bethel bench thought he was off-sides but the call stood.
The Wildcats appeared to be in dire straits, but with just over a minute in regulation Alioune Diop scored on an assist from Sergio Baguena to tie the match. After a scoreless first overtime, the Evangels won on the Golden Boot from Mandela Singh-Sharpe in the second extra period.
A big factor in the game was Mohungsi was injured early in the second period and missed much of the remainder of the contest.
MACU had a 21-18 advantage in shots and a 13-10 margin in shots on goal. There were 19 fouls on Bethel while Mid-America Christian was flagged 14 times. Each squad finished with 10 corner kicks. Norberto Lima Vieira had 10 saves while Juan Cediel had eight saves for MACU.