Bruins fall to Waldorf on penalties in A.I.I. semis

Harry Wray was spectacular in goal for the Bruins, making 13 saves in the A.I.I. semifinals
Harry Wray was spectacular in goal for the Bruins, making 13 saves in the A.I.I. semifinals

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The second-seeded Bellevue University men's soccer team saw their season come to a close at the hands third-seeded Waldorf University. The Bruins and Warriors tied 1-1 after 110 minutes of play but Waldorf advanced on penalties, 4-3, on Friday afternoon in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) semifinals at the Grizzly Soccer Complex, hosted by Georgia Gwinnett.

With the game going down as a draw, officially, Bellevue finishes the season with an 8-7-2 record.

Waldorf sees their overall record move to 8-7-4. The Warriors will play Georgia Gwinnett tomorrow with a spot in the NAIA National Tournament on the line.

The Bruins had the first dangerous opportunity of the game on a ninth minute free kick but Finlay Bloodworth's header from inside of 10 yards sailed over the bar.

In the 17th minute, Yago Ramos took a cross from Bloodworth at the top of the box but his screamer rang off the cross bar and Inaki Aldao's bicycle attempt on the rebound was stopped by Corey Stephens to keep the game scoreless.

Bellevue saw another shot stopped by the woodwork when Ramos' shot in the 23rd minute hit off the goal post.

It took Waldorf until the 30th minute before they got their first good chance. Rodrigo Freitas took a shot from the edge of the box but Harry Wray made an athletic move to tip the attempt over the bar for a corner.

Despite an action-filled first half the game advanced to halftime scoreless with shots 7-6 (5-2 on goal) in favor of Waldorf and BU holding a 3-1 edge in corner kicks in the period.

The 53rd minute saw another great chance for the Warriors as Wray was caught out of position but the Freitas shot was denied by a sliding Jacob Pease in front of the goal.

Bloodworth finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute off a pass from Amador Rangel that he slipped into the back of the net for a 1-0 Bellevue lead. The goal was Bloodworth's third of the season while Rangel was credited with his first assist of the year.

Waldorf responded with a goal of their own in the 68th minute. Howard Sturgeon sent in a cross that Jacob Harris volleyed into the back of the net to pull level 1-1.

The Bruins had a chance to go ahead in the 83rd minute with a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box but Rangel's initial attempt was redirected by the wall and his follow-up went out of play.

Waldorf's Cameron Saul got loose on a breakaway in the 87th minute but his point-blank shot was turned away by Wray for a corner kick.

Despite being out-shot 11-3 in the second half the Bruin defense held steady and the game proceeded to advance to extra time.

Bellevue had a golden chance to end the game early in the first overtime period. Aldao carried the ball into the box and delivered a cross to Lamine Doumbia but his shot, with the keeper beaten, went wide of goal and the game continued on tied 1-1 in the 93rd minute.

Doumbia had another clear chance in the 103rd minute but Stephens made a stop right on the goal line to keep the game level.

BU dominated the overtime periods, out-shooting Waldorf 5-1 and picking up three corners to zero for the Warriors but had nothing to show for their effort as the game advanced to penalty kicks.

Harry Wray was terrific in goal for the Bruins as his 13 saves were easily a season-high.


Bellevue – Yago Ramos – GOAL (1-0)

Waldorf – Jacob Harris – Miss, High (1-0)

Bellevue – Scott Robson – Saved (1-0)

Waldorf – Omar Aguilar – GOAL (1-1)

Bellevue – Aboubakar Tchalombo – GOAL (2-1)

Waldorf – Athos Monteiro – GOAL (2-2)

Bellevue – Toby Millward – GOAL (3-2)

Waldorf – Jean Bonnin – GOAL (3-3)

Bellevue – Inaki Aldao – Saved (3-3)

Waldorf – Cameron Saul – GOAL (3-4)