Sailfish Survive Opening Round at NCCAA National Tournament

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

KISSIMMEE, FLA..- Despite a somewhat sluggish start, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team played tough defense throughout their opening game of the NCCAA National tournament and pulled out a 1-0 victory over the likes Central Baptist College on Friday afternoon at Austin Tindall Park.

Despite numerous offensive chances throughout the opening half of play, the Sailfish never could quite push one past the Mustangs keeper as both teams went into intermission deadlocked at 0-0.

Named the number two overall seed in the tournament, PBA once again developed some offensive opportunities in the second half, only to see most fall short.

In the 54th minute, Sailfish junior Chance Sumner (Valrico, Fla./Durant HS) battled his way towards a scoring opportunity before being taken down inside the penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick situation for the Fish.

As he has done all season, sophomore Cheyne Roberts (Plant City, Fla./Plant City HS) stepped up to take the p.k. and blasted his shot through the left-side to give the Fish what would turn out to be their only score of the afternoon.

Despite some late chances by the number seven-seeded Mustangs, the Sailfish were able to hold on for the victory. One such opportunity for Central Baptist came with approximately 18 minutes to play when the Mustangs were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box which nearly landed them the game-tying goal if not for a spectacular diving save by PBA keeper Joe Yurchak (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland HS).

“Our performance didn’t represent the type of team we have in my mind,” said head coach Jose Gomez after the 1-0 victory.

“We found a way to win which is obviously good, but we are going to have to really step things up if we want to continue onward in this tournament,” continued Gomez.

The Sailfish return to action on Saturday when they square off against the winner of #3-seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene University and the #6-seeded Greenville College. Saturday’s match will take place at 5:00 p.m.

Stay tuned to the PBA athletics website for full coverage of PBA’s trip to Kissimmee, Florida for the 2007 NCCAA National Tournament.

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