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Gerke’s golden goal in second OT lifts HU past Goshen 1-0

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Bradey Gerke’s golden goal with just over three minutes remaining in the second overtime brought an abrupt end to a hard fought 1-0 battle Saturday afternoon at King Stadium that favored the 4th-seeded HU men’s soccer team over 5th-seeded Goshen College (6-7-5) in quarterfinal action of the Crossroads League tournament.

It was history in the making as it marked Huntington’s first home win in the league tournament since the postseason tourney started back in 1994. The Foresters (8-9-1) will now face the winner of top-seeded Bethel/8th-ranked Taylor University in semifinal action of the tournament slated for next Saturday.

While the score was stuck on zeros for more than 100 minutes, in true Crossroads League fashion the contest was anything but dull as fans from both teams rallied behind their respective squad to create an electrically-charged atmosphere.

“Overall, our bench, players and fans were fantastic,” said Coach Russ Lawson. “The environment was incredible.”

Through regulation and the first extra period, the Foresters enjoyed a slim 12-11 advantage in shots taken but it was the second OT that HU finally took over. HU generated five shots in the last OT session with Gerke’s game-winner coming at the 3:18 mark.

“Up against one of the strongest defensive teams in the league, we knew it was going to take everything we had to get this win,” said Lawson. “We spent a great deal of time on restarts and fortunately that paid off as Bradey was able to pounce on a loose ball created by Matheus off a corner kick.”

Goshen currently ranks second in the league in goals allowed with 17 and fourth in shutouts with six.  

The final corner kick was Huntington’s sixth of the game to Goshen’s one. HU posted 17 shots, four on frame, while holding their visitors shotless in the final OT to limit the Maple Leafs to 11 shots on the day.

Brad Buzzard collected three saves for the shutout for his fourth clean sheet of the year. Matheus Louzada was credited with the game-winning assist. For the rookie Gerke, it marked his third goal of the season.

“We’ve accomplished step one,” said Lawson. “We will enjoy tonight but look forward to preparing for next week’s match.”

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.