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November 12, 2013

Oakland University men's soccer advances to Horizon League semifinals

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Oakland University men's soccer advances to Horizon League semifinals
Oakland University junior Joey Tinnion attempts to advance the ball during a Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinal round game against Valparaiso Nov. 12 at the OU Soccer Field. The Golden Grizzlies earned a spot in the conference semifinals after beating Valparaiso 2-1.

ROCHESTER — The Oakland University men's soccer team has advanced to the semifinal round of the Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship after defeating Valparaiso 2-1 in a quarterfinals contest Nov.12 at the OU Soccer Field.

After Valpo's Nick Suker scored the the first goal of the game with 12:25 remaining in the first half, Oakland answered back courtesy of a goal by Chase Jabbori, when he scored with 3:07 left in the first half of play. Cody Archibald assisted on the goal.

The game was tied 1-1 tie at the half.

The game-winner came with 26:32 remaining in the second half on an unassisted goal by Oakland's Matt Rickard.

Oakland head coach Eric Pogue was pleased to come away with a postseason victory in the Golden Grizzlies' inaugural season in the Horizon League.

"It's (an) exciting time for us," he said. "Played a very good, strong Valparaiso team. Really cold, adverse conditions. To get the first win in the Horizon League tournament is great, on our home field. We're excited about that, and excited to move onto Chicago."

Oakland goalkeeper Sean Lewis reflected on what it was like to earn a victory in Oakland's first-ever appearance in the Horizon League Men's Soccer Championship.

"Feels great," he said. "We need to get through this tournament to make it in the NCAAs. It was either win tonight or be done. I thought we responded really well."

Rickard offered his thoughts on what the move to the Horizon League has been like.

"It's been fantastic," he said. "The Horizon League's a bigger league — better competition. It's better for the program (Oakland previously competed in the Summit League)."

Oakland is scheduled to face the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a semifinal matchup at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in Chicago. The University of Illinois-Chicago will host the semifinal matches, as well as the championship game.

 

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.