Sprengel Header Sends Blue Jays To Double Overtime Semifinal Win

13-Josh Udinyiwe
13-Josh Udinyiwe

Louisville, Ky., April 22, 2021 – The Westminster College men's soccer team made its second trip to Louisville to play a soccer game in the last six days.  They would be playing their third game in six days.  They would depart Fulton at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning to make the 5 hour and 20-minute bus ride to Kentucky.  They would lose an hour as they crossed into the Eastern Time Zone.  They would take to the pitch at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.  They would battle into a second overtime in a scoreless tie with the host #3 seeded Spalding University Golden Eagles.  They had every reason to not win this game.  They simply wouldn't stop. Ten seniors and a host of underclassmen contributors just simply kept coming and when Andrew Sprengel headed the game winning goal into the net it set off a wild celebration on the field. The 4th seeded Blue Jays were advancing to the SLIAC Tournament Championship.

The first half saw the host Golden Eagles outshoot the Blue Jays 6-2. Spalding would hit the crossbar early in the contest. They would strike a corner kick in the 26th minute that Blue Jay senior keeper Chase Vogt would punch out to help keep the game scoreless. Those were their only two good chances they would get. In the entire half, Spalding managed to only put two shots on frame meanwhile the Blue Jays were not able to get a single shot on goal.  Both defenses had served notice that they were here to fight for a spot in the championship game.

The second half saw the Blue Jay offense come alive early on as Patrick Wisnewski would smoke a shot off of the cross bar at the 52nd minute.  Wisnewski would follow that attempt up with another shot and Freddy Nene would also record a shot all in the first ten minutes of the second half to put some pressure on the Spalding defense.  

The Spalding attack was limited to some shots from more than 18 yards away and the saves were made easily by Vogt.  The Blue Jays would get another chance when senior Justin Gerdiman found himself to the right of the goal in the 82nd minute with an angle for a shot but the Spalding keeper would make the save.  Spaldings last good chance came in the 89th minute when Spalding's Alioune Cisse would rip a shot from 28 yards out that was headed for the bottom left corner of the goal mouth but it was Vogt again diving to his right to make the save, keep it scoreless and send the game to overtime.

The first overtime saw both teams back lines assert themselves as both teams would make good runs only to be turned away and cleared time after time.  Neither team was able to register a shot on goal in the overtime and as time ran out we would head into a second overtime still in a scoreless tie.

The Blue Jays would waste no time in the second overtime as they would build a quick attack and found themselves with a throw in deep in Spalding territory about 5 yards off the corner flag to the left of the goal.  One of the Blue Jays best long throwers, Philip Udinyiwe, would get a running start in the parking lot adjacent to the field and unleash a throw that would make it well into the box where it would find the head of Sprengel who would flick it past the keeper inside the far post for the game winner, just 34 seconds into the 2nd OT, setting off a wild celebration for the Blue Jays!

The #4 seeded Blue Jays will now face the #1 Seeded Webster University Gorloks, who also survived in overtime 1-0 against Fontbonne University, in a game that will decide the 2021 SLIAC Tournament Championship. The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. kick off Saturday night at the World Wide Technology Soccer Park.