It seemed like one of those days where no matter what you do, the ball will not find the goal. Concordia had chance after chance in the second half, but kept coming up short. Then in the 84th minute Joel Palomores fired a cross through traffic that found the foot of senior Christian Ramirez, who pounded it home to give No. 7-ranked Concordia a 1-0 win over The Master's on Wednesday, October 24 at Eagles Field.
Along with the game, the goal gave Concordia the 2012 GSAC Regular-Season Championship, their first since 2006, and it was Ramirez's 19th of the year, tying the single-season school mark.
"The Master's came out with a great game plan and we struggled with it at first," Christian Ramirez said. "We just stayed on it, like we have all year, and were eventually able to muscle one home."
Concordia had six shots on goal and two that hit the posts. Julio Trejo was outstanding in goal for CU, with three impressive saves, keeping the game tied and earning his fifth shutout of the year.
The home crowd couldn't believe it when at 75:13 Adrian Padilla fired a rocket that hit the side post. Then at 76:30 William Velasquez hit one that rolled atop the cross bar. They would wait another eight minutes before the Eagles finally found the net. Concordia outshot the Mustangs 19-5 and 6-3 in shots on goal.
The Master's had a couple good chances in the first half, but the second half was completely controlled by Concordia. Credit the Mustangs' defense, as they held strong amidst a constant attack.
Andrew Bussell had five saves for TMC, but took the loss. Julio Trejo improved to 14-1-1. Brett Croft, James Obimbo, and Austin Michelson each had three shots on goal for CU.
Concordia, who is ranked No. 3 in the latest NAIA MRPI rankings, improved to 14-2-1 and 7-1 in the GSAC. The MRPI is used to seed the 32-team field for the NAIA Tournament. Concordia appears to be a lock, but the GSAC Tournament will decide the conference's automatic bid. The Master's fell to 7-9-1 and 3-5-1 in conference. The Eagles celebrated their first conference title since 2006 and third overall. All Concordia coaches received a postgame Gatorade shower.
"It's fantastic to reach the milestone of winning the regular season, but the guys are still hungry and want more," head coach Chris Gould said. "The great thing for us is we will host every game until the final 16, and we are looking forward to making a good run."