An Unlikely Hero: DeAngelo's Last-Gasp Winner Sends Sabercats to Regional Championship

Photo credit: Marissa Tanis
Photo credit: Marissa Tanis

THE OVERVIEW

  • Result: Maranatha 1-0 Faith Baptist
  • Venue: Emmaus Bible College
  • Attendance: 61
  • Record: Sabercats are now 9-9, and 1-0 in the postseason
  • Next Game for MBU: NCCAA Regional Championship vs Providence-Manitoba, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m.

THE LEAD

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- In his first game back after 9 months of rehabbing an injury, Austin DeAngelo scored a goal that he and the Sabercats will remember for a long time.

The sophomore netted his first collegiate goal to win the game against Faith Baptist with just 27 seconds left in the NCCAA Regional Semifinal.

THE STORY

The Sabercats showed signs of life early on in the cagey semifinal. Brett Cournoyer hit a shot that went just over, and Nathan Akers tested the goalkeeper in the opening minutes. MBU forced 3 saves from the Eagle's goalkeeper but could not find the breakthrough in the first half.

After multiple Sabercat chances went begging in the second act, the Eagles gave MBU a scare in the 77th minute. 

Faith's Jordan Schmidt found space at the top of the 6-yard box and fired a shot that was bound for the roof of the net, but Andrew Taylor showed cat-like reflexes to make a diving save to his right. In hindsight, that save would prove to be crucial.

Just when the game seemed to be bound for overtime, DeAngelo announced his return.

After Eric Fausto dribbled to the endline to cross the ball back into the box, the ball bobbled to force a loose touch from Akers. Tyler Nelson poked the loose ball to DeAngelo, who fired to the near post from close range to mark a dramatic return from his long wait on the sideline.

The Eagles' desperation attempt in the dying seconds barely tested Taylor, who hung on to the ball to secure the Sabercats' thrilling win.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

The Sabercats will play in just their third NCCAA regional championship game since 2010.

This was the second straight year that the Sabercats won their regional opener in the dying seconds. In 2016, Wira Wama won the quarterfinal with 4 seconds left.

Akers finished the day with 6 shots; 2 on goal.

Taylor made 4 saves in the shutout.

The Sabercats now lead the all-time series against Faith at 4-1-0.

THE CALENDAR

The Sabercats will now face Providence University College in tomorrow's 3 p.m. championship game. Last year, the Sabercats topped the Pilots 1-0 in the NCCAA regional quarterfinal. Catch the details of the game (including live coverage) at mbusabercats.com/composite.