Messiah College Dominates Ohio Nothern, Wins National Championship

By Phil Naegely

A year after being upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Messiah College Men’s Soccer is back on top. After battling Loras College in the Final Four to a 1-0 overtime victory, Messiah absolutely dominated Ohio Northern University on Dec. 1. They have now won their ninth national title in the last 13 years.

In just twenty minutes, Messiah would go up 4-0 over Ohio Northern. Josh Wood was taken down right outside the box, and set up a free kick from 18 yards out. Brian Ramirez stepped up and put it brilliantly into the goal. The ball went right between the crossbar and a jumping keeper.

Moments later Mike Kovach, who scored the game-winner against Loras, scored his fifth goal in the last four NCAA games. Kovach sent a nice strike from the right side of the box into the goal. The scoring wouldn’t stop there for Messiah.

Messiah earned a corner in the 16th minute. Jack Thompson took the corner and sent it into the box. Classmate Carter Robbins was waiting for it in the box and headed it into the goal to put Messiah up 3-0. Three minutes later, Jeremy Payne weaved through the Polar Bears’ defense on the left side to earn an open shot. He found himself one on one with the keeper and sent the ball across the box and into the right side of the goal.

Just like the rest of the crowd, Messiah head coach Brad McCarty was just as surprised.

“Coming into the game, we didn’t know exactly what to expect,” Messiah head coach McCarty said. “Our game with Loras was exhausting, so we didn’t know what our guys would have left. We certainly didn’t expect four goals in twenty minutes. That’s amazing.”

Messiah would continue to dominant throughout the game and only allow one goal. In the 54th minute, the ball was flicked into the box and Ohio Northern got the ball past a diving Brandon West.

In the end, Messiah went on to win 5-1 and earned their ninth title in 13 years. Messiah seniors leave with three titles to their name. Messiah concludes their season with a 23-0-2 record with it being only the second time they have finished undefeated. The only other time was in 2005.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” McCarty said of his team. “We risk our heart every time out there, and my heart and spirit are full right now. Our guys buy into our program and into each other.”

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