Coach Tommy Nienhaus said the Jimmies were going to be a team in which to be reckoned with come postseason play. Nienhaus is a man of his word.
University of Jamestown men's soccer stunned the No. 2 team in the Great Plains Athletic Conference on Wednesday in Fremont, Nebraska. The Jimmies (8-8-2) rolled 2-1 over Midland University (13-4-2) in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament behind a first-half goal scored by sophomore Diego Valle and a Midland own goal recorded in the 66th minute.
"On the road, conference tournament, battling a steady 15-20 mile-per-hour wind," Nienhaus said. "Really happy with that result."
The game-winning tally in the second half began with a UJ corner kick taken by freshman back Karl Gatiramu. Gatiramu's ball -- wind-aided -- bent toward the goal and off the hands of Midland keeper Matthew Ricci, which was then unable to be cleared by the Warriors and tickled into the net.
"It was just kinda one of these awkward moments where everybody kinda stood around and watched the ball just slowly trickle into the goal," Nienhaus explained. "Whatever, it counts."
Jamestown was back to near full-strength, with Deigo, juniors Ruben Zepeda and Eric Fairtlough and freshman back Max Gross all contributing valuable minutes. All four have been dealing with various injuries.
"Ruben came off the bench and gave us 20-30 solid minutes. Eric, 30 solid minutes in the second half and created a chance," Nienhaus said. "Diego played most of the game and his play really was kinda the difference in that first half."
Jamestown fell to Midland, a team that received votes in the latest NAIA top 25 coaches' poll, 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 19 in Jamestown. UJ now turns its attention to 12th-ranked Hastings College (14-4-2), a perennial conference powerhouse and a team that blanked the Jimmies 5-0 last month.
Hastings defeated Concordia 3-0 in Wednesday's quarterfinals after losing the regular-season conference title to Morningside, which snapped a streak of conference championships that dated back to 2000. The Broncos won NAIA national championships in 2010 and 2016.
The GPAC semifinal between the Jimmies and the Broncos will unfold this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Hastings, Nebraska.
"Hastings is going to have a chip on their shoulder ... they kinda sent out a little message to the rest of the conference in that Concordia game," Nienhaus said. "We're going to be better than we were last time, just simply because we have a different mindset and we're playing with house money, basically."
Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament
University of Jamestown 2, (RV) Midland University 1
UJ 1 1 — 2
MU 1 0 — 1
1. UJ, Diego Valle (Karl Gatiramu) 4:15; MU, Yannick Pohland (Eli Draves) 41:39; 3. UJ, Midland own goal, 65:10.
Goalie saves: UJ, Jake Askew 7. MU, Matthew Ricci 1.
Cards: 1. Yellow, MU, James Kilburn 55:49. 2. Yellow, MU, Antonio Hernandez 64:34. 3. Yellow, UJ, Jacob Grosvenor 85:00.
Records: Midland 13-4-2. Jamestown 8-8-2.
2019 Great Plains Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Postseason Tournament
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Records - (GPAC, Points)
#1 Morningside 2, #8 Mount Marty 0
#4 Briar Cliff 3, #5 Northwestern 2
#3 Hastings 3, #6 Concordia 0
#7 Jamestown 2, #2 Midland 1
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Semifinal Round- High Seeds Host
#4 Briar Cliff (12-5-1 overall, GPAC, 27 pts.) at #1 Morningside (17-2 overall, 30 pts.), 6 PM
#7 Jamestown (8-8-2 overall, 14 pts.) at #3 Hastings (14-2-2 GPAC, 27 pts.), 7 PM
Thursday, November 14, 2019
GPAC Postseason Championship
Semifinal winners at highest seed remaining, time TBA