DELRAY Beach, Fla. – (Bracket | Box Score) Davenport’s (Mich.) Chase Burgess headed in the game-winner and handed the sixth-seeded Panthers a 2-1 overtime win over No. 9 Texas at Brownsville in the finals of the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship.
His heroics came in the 93rd minute and gave Davenport its first-ever men’s soccer banner. The match ended the week-long single-elimination event at the Seacrest Soccer Complex.
“Year 2014 was a special year for us… it started in August and it was a long, long season and we have some spectacular seniors on this squad that really helped us out,” said Davenport head coach Chris Hughes.
“We have some youth and depth on this team which was just special for us and to cap it off that way (winning the title) was even more special.
“Our senior center back that almost didn’t come out this year was the game-winning goal. These kids have worked so hard and we try to get them to believe in the system and trying to change the culture into something I believe is special.
“Right now it’s a great night for Panther nation and our program. It will take me a few weeks to process this one.”
Davenport, which ended its campaign with a school record 22-3-1 overall record, had to dig out of a 1-0 hole. Texas at Brownsville’s Ricardo Diegues kicked home his eighth championship goal, this time coming in the 28th minute, to hand the Ocelots a 1-0 advantage.
That play tied Diegues for the all-time championship record for most goals in a tournament, tying a mark set back in 1982. With 18 points (8 goals, 2 assists), Diegues was later named the Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player and Most Valuable Player.
Then, Dzenan Catic took over offensively for Davenport. The NAIA’s leading goal scorer posted a marker in the 76th minute to tie the score up at 1-1. Tonight’s performance comes one day after a hat-trick in the semifinal win over Marymount California.
That set up Burgess’ thrilling header in the overtime period. Lito Esquivel took a corner kick from the left wing that connected perfectly with Burgess at the six-yard line in front of the net. It was his sixth goal of the season and his first in the last seven matches.
Davenport held the Ocelots to their lowest goal output of the season going back to Nov. 9, 2013.
The Texas at Brownsville offense had three shots-on-goal, but just one in the second half. Conversely, Davenport had all five shots-on-net in the second period.
Aaron Orban finished in net for Davenport and came away with two saves – he ends the year 18-2-1 and a school-record 10 shutouts. Ocelot goalkepper Axel Svenson dropped to 18-1-0.
Texas at Brownsville drops its first match of the year after winning 24-straight matches. This championship final was the first title-game appearance for the Ocelots.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission and Northwood served as co-hosts for the first time in championship history.
For more information on the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship final site, click here.