Blinn men’s soccer clinches playoff spot with overtime victory

LUFKIN, Texas — Blinn College men's soccer pulled off a must-win victory to clinch a spot in the playoffs by defeating Angelina College, 2-1, in overtime on Saturday night. 

The Buccaneers closed out the regular season with a 6-10 record and 5-9 conference record for the No. 6 seed heading into the NJCAA Region XIV tournament.

"This win was exciting because we capitalized on opportunities starting in the first few minutes of the game and then we continued to be relentless," said Jorden Smith, Blinn head coach. "This is a phenomenal group of young men who have done everything we have asked them to do, so I am looking forward to coaching them in the postseason."

Breitner Assafoga and Farit Ha each scored a goal in the win, while David Jara and Daniel Lopez each recorded an assist. Erasto Cardenos recorded 15 saves for Blinn. 

"It was a rush to score the goal that secured our playoff spot and made me really happy for our whole team," Ha said. "Our coaches gave us a game plan that allowed me to score in overtime and we are so excited to be headed to playoffs." 

The Buccaneers opened the game with a 1-0 lead after Jara assisted Assafoga in scoring Blinn's first goal in the third minute. Angelina evened the score 1-1 in the 28th minute.

Blinn and Angelina displayed strong defenses in the second half, forcing the game into overtime. It didn't take long for Blinn to score in overtime as Lopez passed the ball to Ha who scored for the Buccaneers in the 90th minute. 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.