Upland, Ind. – A goal by senior forward Matt Klancic (Aurora, Ill./Bowling Green State University/Waubonsie Valley) in the 107thminute of play gave Saint Xavier University a thrilling 1-0 victory over No. 17 ranked Taylor University (Ind.) in opening round action of the 2011 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Saturday afternoon in Upland, Ind. With the huge double-overtime win, SXU now advances to the second round of the national tournament for the first time in the 22-year history of the program. The Cougars improve to 14-8-0 overall, while the Trojans end their season at 19-2-1. Saint Xavier sophomore keeper Kyle Held (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) came up with the key shutout in goal posting six saves on the afternoon.
"I am so proud and excited for my guys right now," said SXU men's soccer coach Ed Vucinic. "Taylor is an extremely talented team and we knew we were in for a very tough match-up today, but like our team has done all year, we found a way to win. This is a major step for our program and we're thrilled to get the opportunity to keep playing soccer."
Klancic scored the game-winning goal off an assist by freshman midfielder Luis Medina (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan). Medina found Klancic slashing toward the goal and fed him a perfect pass that was finished to the opposite post. Both teams finished with 17 shots apiece, but SXU held the slight edge on shots-on-goal with eight to TU's six. Senior midfielder Al Palar (Zabrze, Poland/Plainfield Central) was tough offensively for the Cougars finishing the game with five shots-on-goal.
Saint Xavier (14-8-0 overall/8-2-0 CCAC) now advances to the second round of the 2011 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship and will take on No. 1 seed and defending national champion Hastings College (Neb.). The game will take place at noon (central) on Monday, November 28, at the Orange Beach Complex in Orange Beach, Ala.