Delentz Pierre’s header sends Portland Pilots past Western Michigan, into NCAA men’s soccer quarterfinals

Delentz Pierre scored on a header in the 59th minute and the Portland Pilots beat Western Michigan 1-0 Saturday night at Merlo Field to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament.

Pierre’s goal came on the rebound off of a corner kick after Western Michigan goalkeeper Hunter Morse initially punched the ball away. Pierre leaped up and connected to send the ball into the back of the net, then raced toward his sideline to celebrate.

The Broncos outshot the host Pilots 11-9, but Portland held a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Goalkeeper George Tasouris made three saves for the Pilots (15-2-3) to earn the clean sheet. Morse had seven saves for the Broncos (16-3-2).

Portland advances to the round of eight in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995, which also is the last time the Pilots hit the 15-win mark. Portland’s 10 shutouts this season also are its most since 1990.

The Pilots next will face the winner of No. 1 seed Kentucky and Pittsburgh, with those teams squaring off at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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