MIAMI — Rose State used a pair of first-half goals and solid play in goal to notch a 2-0 victory over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the men’s final of the NJCAA Region 2 soccer tournament.
The third-seeded Norsemen (7-10-1) opened the tournament with a 2-0 decision over No. 2 seed Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Rose State, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, earned its berth with a 4-0 romp against Eastern Oklahoma in the opening round.
The Raiders grabbed the lead seven minutes into the match on a goal by Region 2 most valuable player Ala Ramadon, then tournament MVP Julio Hernandez made it 2-0 with 2:24 left in the half.
The game became a defensive stalemate in the second half thanks to goalie Owen Wheeler — but NEO had its chances.
“We had one right off the crossbar. We had one near-post shot and had a couple good looks that didn’t hit any iron. They were pretty good shots. It wasn’t our day — that’s what it comes down to,” said Golden Norse coach John Parrigon.
This was just the fourth time the Norse had been shut out this season.
“The two straight days was tough,” Parrigon said. “I like the tournament the way its set up and I wouldn’t change a thing, but its tough when you have a little bit of an injury.”
Freshman Jack Holmes of Gloucester, England — an all-Region 2 selection — was slowed by a quad/groin injury.
“Jack has been a big anchor back there all year,” Parrigon said. “Two days in a row — he just couldn’t keep going. That was a big factor because we had to move a lot of guys around.”
NEO got first-half goals from Darrius Quinton with a header off a corner kick and Grant Hoover off a long cross in the win against NOC-Tonkawa.
“We played as well as we have all year,” Parrigon said. “I told them afterwards, hats off to NOC because of the season they’ve had. To win that game, everybody had to do everything and they really did.”
This was the fourth year the Norse had reached the finals and they had won the Region 2 title the previous two seasons.
The Raiders also had Aleksa Mitrovic and Dillon Lofton named to the all-tournament team.
NEO was represented by Francisco Garcia, Callum Cockley, Cole Hilton and Pedro Silva.
Rounding out the all-tournament team were Reece Harrison of Northern and Eastern’s Edgar Torres.
Joining Holmes on the all-Region 2 team was Quentin Darras.
Others selected were Owen Wheeler, Michael Bush and Jack Rose, Rose State; Rojay Smith, Prince Dom Afriyie and Bryson Reed, Northern, and Talles Ribeiro and Edgar Torres, Eastern.