ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — University of Maine-Fort Kent soccer coach Bill Ashby was mystified.
Grand View University received a first-half bicycle-kick goal from Per Poulsen and second-half goals from Noah Acosta and Danny Mullins to oust his Bengals from the NAIA National Tournament’s Round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon, 3-0.
Grand View, the 12th seed, improved to 20-1 while UMFK finished up at 22-1.
UMFK entered the game leading the nation in a variety of offensive categories including goals (123), goals per game (5.59), shots at goal (27.23) and shots on goal (13.59) but the Bengals managed just eight shot attempts and none of them required a save from goalkeeper Darren Martin.
“We did not step up and play today,” said Ashby. “We didn’t perform under pressure. We fouled too much, our first touch wasn’t good and we kept giving the ball away. Put those three things together and we’re back on our heels.
“It was the poorest game we’ve played in four years, since the 7-0 loss in the second round of the tournament to Ohio Dominican,” added Ashby.
Grand View’s Vikings had 22 shot attempts with 10 finding the net, requiring seven saves from sophomore goalkeeper David Girouard.
“David was a bright spot. He came up with three or four (good) saves,” said Ashby.
He credited Grand View for its performance.
“They played extremely well. They beat us fair and square,” said Ashby.
He speculated that his team, led by seven seniors who have never lost a regular season game, may have put too much pressure on itself.
“We were afraid to make mistakes and all we did was make mistakes,” said Ashby.
Poulsen opened the scoring 14:45 into the game when Jonny MacAdam’s corner kick was headed straight up in the air by an UMFK player and he used a bicycle kick to put it in the far corner from 13 yards out. It was his fifth goal of the season.
Acosta expanded the lead 9:09 into the second half by converting an assist from Luis Heitor-Piffer.
“He slammed it on goal and it was headed for the far corner but it deflected off one of our players and went in near post,” said Ashby about Acosta’s 15-yard shot from the right side of the penalty area. It was his second goal of the year.
Just 6:56 later, UMFK left back Spencer Jacoby received his second yellow card thus earning a red card. That left Bengals playing with 10 men the rest of the game.
Mullins capped the scoring with his third goal of the season as he tucked a Noel Medina pass into the near corner from eight yards out.
Heitor-Piffer had two assists.