Redlands Men’s Soccer Surrenders to Calvin on PKs, Texas-Tyler Survives in Overtime
The No. 13/15 University of Redlands men's soccer team ended its playoff dreams on Friday evening, falling to the Calvin College (MI) Knights in a heart-breaking overtime shootout during the sectional semifinal of the NCAA Championships. After playing to a 1-1 tie through regulation, the teams battled it out in two 10-minute overtime periods. With the match declared a tie, the Knights finally advanced to the Elite Eight with a 5-3 performance in the penalty kick shootout.
In an intense, action-packed game, nearly 900 fans filled Farquhar Field as Bulldog Athletics hosted Sweet-16 action of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2003.
Calvin caught an early break, just seconds into the match-up as a defensive miscue by the Bulldogs led to a one-on-one Knight opportunity. Calvin's team-leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Zach Willis, punched in his 14th goal of the season after only 24 seconds of action.
Despite the early deficit, the Maroon and Gray fought back by quickly earning several good looks at the Knights' goal, including back-to-back rips from junior defender Nick Eary (Las Vegas, NV). In addition, sophomore defender Richie Marquez (Pomona, CA) connected on a nice header just before the intermission, but Calvin's keeper, Michael Dolan, made a swift two-handed save.
UR's momentum carried into the second half as senior forward Jamie Griffin (Seattle, WA) drew a big-time foul in the Knights' box, leading to a penalty kick. Eary stepped up to the plate at the 46:39-mark and buried his second penalty kick of the NCAA Championships.
After the Bulldogs' netter, the game had a roller-coaster feel with both teams pounding on the opposition's front door. The squads combined for 18 shots in the second half alone, but neither could find the back of the net. For Redlands, sophomore goalkeeper Andreas Silva (San Jose, CA) made an incredible diving save into the top-right corner to stop Calvin's senior forward Brad Meethuis' shot late in the game. This impressive effort was followed up by three consecutive saves inside of the six-yard mark, all in the last 10 minutes of regulation.
During the overtime sessions, the Knights recorded a 6-2 shot advantage, but Redlands' also created memorable scoring opportunities that inspired the packed crowd to hold its collective breath.
Eventually, Calvin finished off the game by winning the shootout, 5-3, as junior midfielder Nick Holtrop recorded the final score.
Silva finished out the game with a season-high 10 saves during 110 minutes of action.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs (20-3-2) wrap up a season for the ages, recording the program's fourth 20-win season while going undefeated in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition.
In the day's first contest, the No. 24 University of Texas at Tyler defeated Randolph College (VA) by a score of 2-1 in overtime.
The Wildcats of Randolph got on the board first when sophomore forward Tyler Gilchirst found the back of the net in the 37th minute.
Texas-Tyler responded in the second half as senior forward Victor Almendariz tacked on his team-leading 11th goal of the season by connecting with Elijah Shipman's assist in the box.
Just 1:22 into the first overtime period, Patriot senior midfielder Justin Nesmith took a rebounded shot and sliced it into Randolph's cage, sending his team into a celebratory frenzy.
Overall, Texas-Tyler outshot the Wildcats, 20-10, while also taking the corner-kick advantage by a slight 2-1 margin.
Calvin looks forward to competing as the home team on Saturday when it faces Texas-Tyler in the sectional final at 5 p.m. on Farquhar Field.
For complete tournament information, please visit http://www.goredlands.com/sports/msoc/2011-12/files/NCAA_Tourney_sectional.