Rio Grande and MidAmerica Nazarene advance to NAIA title game


Top-seeded Rio Grande (22-1) edged fourth seed Missouri Valley (20-3-1) to advance to the NAIA national title game for the first time since 2008. 

Eduardo Zurita scored the game’s only goal in the 68th minute off an assist from Joao Paulo Antonio. The goal was the 10th of the season for the freshman midfielder from Barcelona.

MidAmerica Nazarene is now all that stands in the way of the Red Storm winning their second national championship after the Pioneers (18-5-1) powered past Lindenwood-Belleville (17-8) to the program’s first-ever national championship game with a 4-2 win in tonight’s other semifinal.

MidAmerica’s leading goal scorer Tanner Hunjak opened the scoring with his 12th of the season in the 11th minute and added a second goal a minute later. Matias Cabello, who assisted on the second goal, added his third goal of the season in the 28th minute and set up an insurance goal for Cameron Wallace after Lindenwood-Belleville had narrowed the lead with two goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

Enrique Garcia and Orio Lopez scored the Lynx goals, both of which were assisted by Guillermo Chinchilla.

The 57th NAIA title game will be played Saturday at 5 p.m.

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