IRVINE, Calif. – Rodrigo Paredes scored on a header off a corner kick in the 24th minute to give Central Methodist a 1-0 win over Rocky Mountain College Wednesday in a quarterfinal game at the NAIA National Men’s Soccer Championships in Irvine, Calif.
The Eagles peppered Rocky’s goal in the first half. The No. 3 team in the country came close to scoring several times before Paredes’ goal, but Bears goalkeeper Kristofer Wennin turned back several close-range chances. Wennin made eight saves overall.
Rocky’s urgency picked up with 16 minutes left in the match, as Marco Kummerle hit the crossbar with a vicious 35-yard attempt. The Bears nearly pulled out a miraculous finish in the final seconds, as Pablo Ferreira was played in on goal. His shot was blocked, but it ricocheted into the path of Sam Davidson who fired on net, but Eagles goalkeeper Vince Gelei made his sixth and final save and ran out the clock.
The quarterfinal loss tied Rocky’s best finish in program history at the NAIA National tournament. They also lost in the quarterfinals in 2015.