Men's soccer team wins in penalty kicks, advances to national tournament semifinals

Men's soccer team wins in penalty kicks, advances to national tournament semifinals

The Eastern Florida State College men's soccer team won a thriller Wednesday night, advancing to the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament semifinals with a win in penalty kicks.

After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer between the No. 5 seed Titans and No. 4 seed Marshalltown, the teams turned to penalty kicks. Marshalltown would give the Titans an advantage with a miss early and then up 4-3, goalkeeper Nour Moaoui made a diving save to send Eastern Florida State College back to the semifinals for the first time since 2015.

"We have been fighting hard for 110 minutes and in penalty kicks it is all about mind games. I saw he did a little move across his body and I just followed him and made the save," Moaoui said.

Aedon Kyra, Sebastian Joffre, Abdel Kuku and Troy LaRue Gonzalez all made their penalty kicks in the win.

"That is one of the best junior college teams I have faced, the most organized and well coached, really fluid team. They kept the ball well tonight and we were in trouble for a lot of moments in this game," Eastern Florida State College men's soccer coach Oliver Twelvetrees said. "The boys showed the heart and determination of this team and that is what college soccer is about, coming together and seeing if you can achieve something as a team and we certainly did that tonight."

Both teams had chances to take the lead, but defense ruled the night as Moaoui finished with five saves during the game and two of them were great diving saves as the defense recorded its fifth straight shutout.

The Titans improved to 16-4 and advance to the semifinals on an eight-game winning streak. Eastern Florida State College will play No. 3 seed Barton Community College Friday in the second semifinal at 3 p.m. Barton advanced with a 4-3 win over Georgia Military on Wednesday.