Men’s soccer wins Horizon League Championship

By Jimmy Halmhuber

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No. 1 seed Oakland University (9-6-3, 5-0-3 Horizon) defeated No. 3 seed Wright State (12-7-2, 4-3-1) 2-1 in the Horizon League Championship Saturday night.

The last time Oakland played Wright State, they tied 1-1, with Oakland owning an all-time winning record against the team. Home games have gone well for Oakland this season, going 5-1-2.

Joey Tinnion put the Golden Grizzlies up early, just five minutes into the game off of a pass from Matt Dudley.

In the 34th minute, Joey Tinnion dribbled the ball into Wright State’s box and was tripped around the penalty spot. Gerald Ben, Oakland’s best penalty kicker this year (3-3), stepped up to take the shot and scored to make it 2-0 with 55 minutes left to play.

“I went in for it. I threw my body at the ball and he got me and maybe a little bit of the ball. I mean the ref was right there so I’m going to trust him on that one,” Tinnion said.

Oakland’s second goal seemed to take the energy out of Wright State for the remainder of the first half.

The second half got a little chippy for both sides. The first 15 minutes of the second saw seven fouls by Wright State and a yellow card given to WSU midfielder Joakim Carlsson.

Eventually Wright State’s pressure paid off with a goal from Marquis Payton in the 72nd minute.The goal gave Wright State some life to try to get an equalizer with 18 minutes remaining.

Oakland’s defense fought off chances created from corners, long throw-ins and free kicks, frustrating Wright State to the point where they started a scuffle in front of the Oakland goal. Austin Polster of Wright State and Cody Archibald of Oakland both received yellows in the 80th minute. Minutes later, Marquis Payton from Wright State got a yellow card as well.

Oakland got a big clearance and took it to the corner and wasted time as the final horn blew. The players and fans stormed the field in celebration.

“All along we had goals,” Oakland head coach Eric Pogue said. “First win the regular season title, which we did. Then our goal was to get to the semifinals and win that. Then we needed to win a game on our home field, which we did.

“Win our conference tournament title and not just get to the NCAA tournament, but the next step is not just to get to the NCAA tournament, but to win games.”