Medina's Heroics Lift No. 8 Rutgers-Newark into 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament
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WALTHAM, Mass. (November 11, 2017) – Sophomore goalkeeper Andres Medina made three magnificent saves in a penalty kick shootout to lift the eighth-ranked Rutgers University-Newark men's soccer team into the second round of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship Saturday night.
Medina and the Scarlet Raiders played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer against a tough Bowdoin College team, needing PK's to decide who would advance to Sunday's second round match against host Brandeis University. The Scarlet Raiders won the shootout, 3-2, as Medina denied an incredible 3-of-5 shots.
Sophomore Fabio De Sousa started the shootout by converting his attempt, and Medina followed by stopping the first Bowdoin shooter. Veteran goalkeeper Stevie Van Siclen made a nice save on the next Newark bid, with Medina following suit to keep Newark on top. Senior Carlos Castro made it 2-0 in the shootout in favor of Rutgers, drilling his attempt, and Bowdoin's next shooter made it 2-1.
Van Siclen stopped the fourth Newark attempt, and Bowdoin made it 2-2 on its next chance. Senior Hubert Dul was next for Rutgers-Newark, calmly netting his shot to put the Scarlet Raiders back on top. That set up Medina's final act as the NJAC Goalkeeper of the Year dove to his right for the denial that propelled his team into the second round.
"It's always tough when you go to PK's with the season on the line, but we were very confident with Andres in goal for us," said Head Coach Kevin East after the win. "Making three saves in a shootout is incredible and something you just don't see very often. Andres has been special for us all year and tonight he showed why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the nation."
For scorekeeping purposes, the result of the game goes down as a draw, so Rutgers-Newark moves to 20-2-1 on the season. Bowdoin ends its 2017 at 10-4-4. The Scarlet Raiders will take on host Brandeis University at 7 p.m. on Sunday, looking for a second-straight berth in the 'Sweet 16' of the national tournament.
Each side took four shots in a scoreless first half and Bowdoin held a slim edge in corner kicks (3-2).
Rutgers-Newark seemed to get things going over the final 20 minutes of the opening period, holding a distinct advantage in possession and field position. Senior Chigozie Atubi had the game's first strong scoring opportunity with 20 minutes in the half, missing just wide, and five minutes later, De Sousa took a rip from 30-yards out that missed the far post by inches. De Sousa had another excellent shot after a beautiful cross from senior back Isaiah Kuris, but his bid from close quarters banged off the crossbar and the match remained scoreless.
Bowdoin had one strong scoring chance late in the first after a corner, but a shot from close range by junior Moctar Niang sailed high.
In the second, Bowdoin's Levi Morant had a rip hit the post at 52:59 and at 56:33 Medina made a stop on a quality chance to keep the match scoreless.
Large portions of the second half were played between the two penalty boxes with the Scarlet Raiders getting the better of possession for the balance. At 79:46 Van Siclen made a diving stop on an Atubi shot, and moments later Dul hit De Sousa for a good look but the shot missed left.
In the overtime periods, Rutgers-Newark controlled the ball and field for nearly 90 percent of the action. The Raiders created several quality rushes, but the Polar Bears seemed content having PK's decide who would advance. Rutgers-Newark took the only two shots in the 20 minutes of extra time, with Bowdoin holding a 12-10 edge in shots after 110 minutes of play. Each side put three attempts on goal, and the Scarlet Raiders finished the match with a 6-3 edge in corners.
The shutout is the 15th of the season for Rutgers-Newark and Medina now has 12 individual clean sheets.
Rutgers-Newark and Brandeis played last year in the 'Elite 8' of the NCAA Tournament with the Judges earning the win to move on to the national semifinals. The matchup will feature a pair of nationally-ranked teams as R-N checks in at No. 8 in both national polls and Brandeis is 21st according to D3soccer.com and 19th according to the United Soccer Coaches.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. from Gordon Field and fans should visit www.rutgersnewarkathletics.com Sunday for links to follow the action live.
Andres Medina makes 3 saves in the penalty kick shootout to lift @RUN_Soc into 2nd rd of @NCAADIII Tournament. Just incredible!— Scarlet Raiders (@ScarletRaiders) November 12, 2017
Cc: @Rutgers_Newark @RutgersU #RUNwins #d3soc #d3soccer #NCAASoccer #NCAATournament pic.twitter.com/k6IAi28CkC