Central, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan defeated the Columbia International Rams in a double overtime 2-1 final to claim the NCCAA South Regional Championship.
The Warriors took 38 shots and 15 shots on goal in the victory over the Rams. Grant Kiker led the team with 12 shots and five shots on goal. Kiker was followed by Juan Sebastian Castro with six shots and four shots on goal. Alex Olson and Romanov Jean scored the two goals for the Warriors, and Grant Kiker posted the lone assist. Miguel Uribe played the whole game in goal for the Warriors, boasting five saves while allowing only one goal.
Final: Southern Wesleyan 2, Columbia International 1
Records: Southern Wesleyan (6-9-3), Columbia International (8-10-2)
How It Happened
Southern Wesleyan challenged early against Columbia International with back-to-back shots by Jhon Peter Mareus, however Columbia International countered with a shot by Doran Battermann. Grant Kiker surged ahead taking several more shots, but the shots went wide or where blocked by the Rams defense and goal keeper. Despite several shots on goal by the Warriors, the Rams struck first as Dominik Byars got the ball around the defense and scored a goal to give the Rams a 1-0 lead going into half.
The Warriors would not go down quietly, as Grant Kiker, Juan Sebastian Castro and Keegan Wilkinson all took shots in an attempt to tie the game. With the intensity of the game growing stronger with each passing second, Jhon Peter Mareus and Kiker both took shots that barely missed the goal and went wide. The Warriors kept the pressure high, challenging the Rams at every possible moment. With minutes remaining in the second half, Alex Olson took control of the ball close to midfield and took a shot. The ball curved around the defense and goalkeeper to meet the net for his first goal of the season and tie the game 1-1.
With the game tied 1-1, the Rams and Warriors entered overtime. Southern Wesleyan started strong with shots on goal by Juan Sebastian Castro and Grant Kiker. Despite the shots, neither team was able to score in the first overtime period to force a second period to be played. Southern Wesleyan charged ahead in the second half, and with three minutes of play remaining Grant Kiker passed the ball to Romanov Jean. Jean drove forward and drilled the ball into the corner of the net to give the Warriors a 2-1 victory over the Rams.
Southern Wesleyan will next travel to Kissimmee, Florida to compete in the NCCAA National Championship.