Its Final! Wheaton (Ill.) and Tufts
|Wheaton junior Stephen Golz scored the game winner for Wheaton.
On a rain filled Friday at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, MO, Tufts University and Wheaton College (Ill.) were winners in the national semifinals and will face off on Saturday for the NCAA Men's Soccer Title.
In the day's first semifinal, No. 3 Oneonta State came back from a 1-0 deficit and took a 2-1 lead, but fell 3-2 in double overtime to No. 9 Wheaton.
In the Oneonta match, it was junior Stephen Golz who headed in the game winner off a free kick in the second overtime. Senior Noah Anthony had the assist on the goal, serving the ball in from the left just outside the area. The Thunder outshot the Red Dragons 19-6, but Wheaton coach Mike Giuliano commented that "every shot they threw at us was dangerous."
|Wheaton's goalkeeper grabs the ball just before Oneonta's Cory Santangelo scores a disallowed goal in the 85th minute.
Matthew S. Hicks/MSH Photography
Oneonta ends their season at 21-1-2, suffering their one and only loss of the season. The Red Dragons believed they had netted a potential game-winner with five minutes to play in regulation, but the tally was waived off because the referee ruled that the Wheaton goalkeeper had possession of the ball before Cory Santangelo got a foot to it (see photo). Had the goal stood, it would have broken the tie created seven minutes after the interval when Thunder senior Adam Blackman chipped the keeper from 25 yards out off a ball played out of the back.
Wheaton had opened the scoring with a penalty kick conversion in the 16th minute after a foul in the box. But Oneonta had reversed Wheaton's one-goal advantage with a pair of goals two minutes apart at the half hour mark. On a 50-50 ball, junior Jake Sutherland's touch just beat the Wheaton goalkeeper and pushed the ball forward where he was able to pass it into the open net. Then sophomore Anthony Passiatore scored his first goal of the season when teammate Dylan Williams' header in the Wheaton box found him wide open.
|Tufts senior Gus Santos scored two goals in their win over Ohio Wesleyan.
Kelvin Ma/Tufts University
Wheaton and Tufts will meet on Saturday at 1:00 pm to determine the national champion.
As they did against Messiah in the sectionals, the Jumbos scored an early goal to set the tone of the match. They were able to score two more and keep Ohio Wesleyan off the board.
The Battling Bishops end yet another post-experience with a record of 17-5-4.
For Tufts, this will be their first ever title match, while Wheaton has played in four previous matches: a national championship in 1984 and 1997, and a runner-up spot in 2006 and 1999.
|Oneonta senior keeper Vincent Pellegrino in action on Friday.