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NAIA: Hastings and NW Ohio take championships
December 4th, 2016 11:38PM
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A pair of subs teamed up to give Hastings its second NAIA men's title over Rio Grande, while Northwestern Ohio was crowned for its first time after winning the NAIA women's championship over 2015 champion Spring Harbor.

Lucas Venegas' goal in the second half gave Hastings a 1-0 win over Rio Grande. The victory in regulation snapped a string of three straight games the Mustangs won in overtime or shootout.

Venegas' goal followed a great through ball from Australian Eric Birighitti. Both players were subs.

"We knew coming into this game that someone off the bench would have to do something for us," Hastings coach Aaron Champenoy said. "Four game in six days we needed someone to step up. The longer the game went we just needed to stay with it. It was a great break as Birighitti found Venegas with a great touch and found a great spot and tucked it in."

Northwestern Ohio beat Spring Harbor, 1-0, on Hannah Baines' goal in the 32nd minute. Spring Arbor had beaten the Racers in the 2015 semifinals en route to the final. Baines had been injured in the second round a year ago and missed the rest of the playoffs.

"Last year Hannah Baines got injured on that field and came back this year and scored the game-winning goal in the national championship final," UNOH coach Stuart Gore said. "I don't think Hollywood could have wrote that script."


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