Bartlesville, Okla — No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University recorded a very comfortable 4-0 win over Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) in the 2013 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round on Saturday.
A brace from Luka Milicevic, and one each from Lucas Corderio and Daniel Carney guided the Eagles into the second round of the tournament for the first time in three tries.
The Eagles, coming off a disappointing defeat to Bellevue (Neb.) in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) tournament last weekend, dominated the first half against Embry-Riddle and were rewarded with three goals.
Milicevic gave OKWU the lead in the 16th minute before Brazilian striker Corderio added a second three-minute later.
The Serbian attacker Milicevic then added another for the Jamie Peterson coached Eagles, which took a commanding advantage before the interval when he netted in the 21st minute to give the hosts a 3-0 lead heading into half-time break.
“The boys played a great first half,” Peterson said. “They came out sharp and hungry. Scoring an early goal helped settle any nerves that could of formed. We were very pleased to go in 3-0.
Following the break, Carney added another, which wrapped up the scoring, as Oklahoma Wesleyan booked their place into the second round of the tournament, after twice falling in the first round in 2011 and 2012.
He added: “Second half they made a couple of adjustments and we didn’t have the same focus. It took about 15-20 minutes to settle on and keep the ball.
“Embry-riddle are well coached and I am pleased that we were able to compete as well as we did. God and the players deserves credit for us progressing to Alabama.”
The tournament which now moves to Montgomery, Ala. will continue from Dec. 2-7 at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.