Des Moines, Iowa - Viterbo faced the top seed Grand View in the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament semi final, a team whose impressive season has placed them as 13th
in the NAIA national rankings. Unfortunately, Grand View was to much for Viterbo as they fell 3-1.
Grand View exerted their attacking prowess right from the kick off and some brave defending from Viterbo kept the score level for the majority of the game. Chris Bagshaw (Jr. - Winona, Minn.) made a crucial block from the edge of the area to deny what probably would have been a goal. Viterbo nearly took the lead just before half time. Scott Henderson's (Fr. - Dundee, Scotland) thirty yard pass found Tony Madigan (Jr. - Dane, Wis.) down the left flank, he evaded the challenge of his opponent and his shot narrowly missed the target.
Viterbo would go a goal down just before the whistle blew for half time. A free kick was crossed into the box and two Grand View players challenged Luke Newton (Fr. - Richmond, England) for the ball and the keeper failed to keep a hold of it, the ball bounced around in the six yard box before being side footed in by a Grand View player. The opposition was adjudged not to have fouled the goalkeeper and the goal stood.
The second half rose in intensity as the minutes progressed. Senior Jamie Robertson (Langho, England) started causing problems for the Grand View defense which resulted in a free kick being awarded on the edge of the area. Henderson played the free kick quickly to Robertson whose accurate cross was met by a powerful header from Andrew Sadowskyj (Jr. - Bradford, England) who claimed his first goal of the season at a crucial time.
Viterbo began to mount more attacks with Robertson and Jake Wenzel (So. - Stoughton, Wis.) coming close on two separate occasions. A huge decision would swing the game in the favor of Grand View. A Grand View player was adjudged to have been fouled in the area, but an offside player for Grand View had been involved in the buildup. The linesman didn't flag and the penalty stood. Newton guessed the right way but the penalty still snuck its way into the bottom corner. Although Viterbo felt aggrieved they went in search of an equalizer. Mark Burton (So. - Oxford, England) nearly leveled the tie when a loose ball landed to him in the box. His powerful shot was blocked on the line to Viterbo's dismay and Grand View would notch another goal to put the game beyond doubt. Viterbo nearly came back to make the tie 3-2, with Bagshaw and Wenzel coming close on separate occasions. Viterbo may have felt slightly hard done by, but it didn't take the shine off what had been a determined performance and an overall good season.
Viterbo finishes the season 8-10-1 overall while Grand View moves to 17-1 overall. Grand View will now face #2 Mount Mercy University in the MCC Championship game on Thursday.