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Foresters set to host Bethel in tournament action

HUDDLE: The Huntington University men’s soccer team will look to advance to the Crossroads League Tournament Championship with a win over Bethel on Saturday.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The RV Huntington University men’s soccer team will continue its postseason quest on Saturday, hosting third-seeded Bethel in a Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals match at King Stadium with a trip to the championship on the line.

A victory for the Foresters would give them their second consecutive berth in the title match after having won last year’s Crossroads League Tournament in upset fashion.

Huntington, seeded second in the tournament, brings a 13–4–2 overall record into Saturday’s duel after having topped seventh-seeded St. Francis 4–1 in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals last Saturday.

Freshman Caleb Sexton took over in the game, scoring 2:33 into the contest to give the Foresters a 1–0 lead before assisting on goals in the 34th and 54th minutes to extend the Huntington advantage to 3–0.

The Foresters tacked on another goal late for a commanding 4–0 lead and eventually claimed a 4–1 win when the final horn sounded.

“The boys earned the right to play another week,” said head coach Russ Lawson following the win. “I’m proud of their effort and we’re excited to be moving on.”

Despite allowing a goal with 1:46 remaining, Gabe Greenfield turned aside two of the three shots he faced to preserve the win in net for Huntington.

Meanwhile, Bethel has accumulated a 10–7–1 this season and are fresh off a 1–0 overtime win over sixth-seeded Grace in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals last weekend.

The Pilots largely controlled the game, outshooting the Lancers 18–7, including a 10–3 margin for shots on goal. But, Bethel would not break through until Jose Barquin buried the game-winner for the Pilots 2:40 into the extra frame to keep Bethel’s season alive.

Saturday’s game comes as a bit of a rematch of sorts, as the teams played in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals last season, which saw the sixth-seeded Foresters upset the third-seeded Pilots 2–1 thanks to a penalty-kick strike from Jake Erlandson in the 55th minute that proved to be the difference.

Game time for Saturday’s Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals contest is slated for 2 p.m.