With a steady rain coming down on Sunday afternoon, the Duhawks and Vikings met in the Rock Bowl in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships. To reach this point, North Park defeated Washington University on Saturday by a score of 4-1, and Loras eliminated St. Scholastica 1-0.
The opening 45 minutes of play was filled with tackles, fouls, and seven yellow cards. Four Duhawks were booked along with three Vikings. For two teams that have a limited prior history, the style of play very closely resembled two heated rivals.
In the first half, three of North Park's four shots required a save as compared to Loras 12 shots, but only 2 on frame. The Vikings best chance of the half came via a 40 yard pass from in front of the Loras bench to inside the 18. Dan Figura was able to step in and break up the play before North Park could muster a shot.
The second half consisted of very similar play with both teams creating scoring opportunities. The physical play continued, but neither team received a yellow card in the final 45. With a loose ball in the box, Ben Avery headed it over to Tim van den Bergh who then beat North Park goalkeeper Tim Ahlberg to the back post. With the goal coming in the 73rd minute, North Park was forced to send more attackers forward in hopes to create additional pressure and score a goal. When his team needed him most, Dylan Milkent came up with two clutch saves in the late moments to preserve the win and his 16th shutout on the year.
Loras moves onto the Sweet 16 and will have a chance to avenge a loss to the UW-Platteville Pioneers. When the two teams met in September, the Pioneers did what no other team has done in 2012, and defeat the Duhawks. If Loras is able to win on Friday, they will then face the winner of Wheaton and Dominican, two teams that Loras defeated during the regular season.