For 80 minutes, the constant driving rain and a superior effort by the Lake Erie Storm looked like it would dampen Tiffin University's hopes of advancing to the G-MAC Championship game.
Then came the final 10 minutes.
The Dragons mounted a furious rally, scoring two goals in a two-minute span to send the game to overtime before ending it two minutes into the extra period with a dramatic diving header for a 3-2 win. The Dragons will now take on Ohio Valley University at 12 pm on Nov. 3 at Hoernemann Stadium on the campus of Heidelberg College.
Yes, we said Heidelberg College. TU's home at Paradiso Fields was inundated with water after 2.5 inches of rain over the last 24 hours, so a last minute venue change was organized. Both semifinal games were played in a soaking constant rain and, early on, the Storm seemed better suited.
Lake Erie got goals in the 20th minute and held a 1-0 lead at halftime. They tacked on another goal in the 54th minute and held the 2-0 lead entering the 80th minute.
The Dragons, suddenly energized, wasted no time equalizing, as Andrew Nmah banged home a shot off a rebounded shot from Ramiesh McKnight in a crowd in front of the Lake Erie goal to dramatically tie the game in the 82nd minute.
With the momentum suddenly shifted, TU capitalized in the 93rd minute. G-MAC Defensive player of the year Kangni Gabianou sent home the game winning shot off a diving header from a corner kick by Suleman, and the game was over.
Tiffin held a 20-6 advantage on shots and a 8-0 gap in corner kicks.