Zoltan Suranyi (12) celebrates after scoring the Cougar’s first goal of the night. Photo: courtesy Spring Arbor University.
The No. 6 ranked Spring Arbor University men’s soccer team will be returning to Irvine, California for the second straight season after defeating Grand View University 4-0 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round on Saturday night.
All four tallies came in the second half. Zoltan Suranyi scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 61st minute. Aidan Taylor also found the back of the net, sandwiched between a pair of goals by Cole Russell.
After a scoreless first half, Suranyi broke the deadlock with a rocket of a shot in the 61st minute. Grand View gave the ball away deep in its own end, and Suranyi made it hurt, blasting a shot from outside the 18-yard box into the top corner.
The Cougars took full control of the game in the 80th minute after Grand View’s Diego Leite was issued a red card. Just over two minutes later, with the man advantage, Russell smashed in SAU’s second goal of the night. Tyler Green delivered a cross into the box that Brian D’Ascenzo flicked on to an open Russell at the back post.
Spring Arbor put the game away in the last two minutes with Taylor scoring in the 89th minute and Russell adding his second tally of the night in the 90th minute.
SAU outshot Grand View 8-6. Goalkeeper Christopher Banfi made one save in the shutout.
Spring Arbor advances to the national tournament final site for the second straight year and for the third time in the last four years.
SAU recorded its 13th shutout of the season – the third-most in the NAIA. The Cougars are 16-2-2 on the season.
Spring Arbor is one of 16 teams remaining in the national tournament and will face No. 5 ranked William Carey (Miss.) (14-0-5) at the OC Great Park Soccer Stadium in Irvine, California on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m