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Eastern Florida Men's Soccer Scores Dramatic Victory for Region 17 Title
Nov. 3, 2013 - The dream is alive.
Eastern Florida State College's men's soccer team continued its gem of an inaugural season in the most dramatic way possible on Sunday, defeating Georgia Perimeter College on penalty kicks to win the NJCAA Region 17 championship in Albany, GA.
The Titans outshot Perimeter 3-1 on penalty kicks. The game ended in a 2-2 tie following 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods.
The Titans pose with the Region 17 Championship trophy after the dramatic win in Georgia.
The victory puts Eastern Florida in the Southeast District championship game against perennial power Louisburg, NC (12-6-1) on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Melbourne Campus field at 2 p.m.
The winner advances to the NJCAA Division I Men's National Championship Tournament Nov. 18-23 at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX.
'We've got more silverware to bring home," said an emotionally drained Eastern Florida head coach Oliver Twelvetrees who was soaking wet from a post-game sports drink shower.
"We've got good nerves, good heart, determination. We knew what we had to do and we did it."
Georgia Perimeter took the first penalty kick and missed wide right. Manuel Goldberg was successful for the Titans and a 1-0 lead.
Perimeter's second shot was wide left. Khori Foster struck home for Eastern Florida and a 2-0 lead.
Perimeter connected on its third try to narrow the margin to 2-1 before Jordan Muir successfully struck for the Titans and a 3-1 lead.
Eastern Florida goalkeeper Jorge Madera then got a hand on the fourth Perimeter shot – teams get five each - tipping it up over the net and the Titans stormed the field to celebrate the excruciating victory.
Madera had five saves on the day including a point-blank one in overtime.
"He was very good,' Twelvetrees said.
The victory, which moved Eastern Florida to 13-1-1 was the third in five days in the tournament in which it was the fourth seed despite being ranked higher in the national polls (fourth) than the Georgia teams and not losing to any of them in seven regular-season meetings.
The Titans beat Middle Georgia 4-3 in Wednesday's play-in game and then blanked host Darton State College 2-0 in Saturday's semifinals.
Eastern Florida has not lost in its last 13 games but Perimeter gave the Titans all they could handle.
"It's very emotional, the highs and lows of that game," Twelvetrees said.
"We had the lead twice. We were definitely fatigued and we were unable to maintain the high level of play. It was a battle. We knew it was going to be the toughest game of the season and that's how it ended up."
Aurtro Roosen scored his third goal of the tournament 13 minutes into the game to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. Perimeter scored with 29 seconds remaining in the first half for a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Loafman scored with 35:29 remaining in the second half for a 2-1 Titans lead but Perimeter rallied again for a 2-2 tie with 9:24 to play setting the stage for the final drama.
Perimeter ended its season at 14-3-2 with two of the losses to Eastern Florida.
Keenan King and Loafman recorded assists for Eastern Florida, which came together as a team in early August and has been on a roll since.
"I hoped we would be successful but I certainly couldn't imagine the character of these young men," Twelvetrees said.