Men's Soccer Score Two Quick Goals, Lose 2-3 in NCAA Tournament

Nov 13, 2016

Matheus Santos celebrated Saturday night after helping the Spartans to a 2-0 lead after scoring on a header.

CHICAGO, Ill. - Saturday night as the teams were being introduced, a full moon peaked out over the horizon. A fan joked about what kind of craziness could ensue, if only we knew the omen for the first round of the 2016 Division III Men's Soccer Championships. The Spartans struck quickly when Gonzalo Hernandez Cascante scored off an assist from Ivan Sanchez at 2:32. Matheus Santos pushed UD to a 2-0 lead after a header from an assist by Hernandez Cascante at 4:17.

Unfortunately around the 10 minute mark, Westminster battled at the goal line only to have a Spartan defender react and stop the ball with his hand. A red card was issued and UD would play the final 79:51 a man short. A penalty kick at 10:09 for the infraction scored and UD led 2-1. Taking advantage of the missing player, Westminster scored minutes later at 17:39, in another mad scamble near the goal line. The match would finish the first half tied 2-2. Westminster finished with 10 first half shots and UD ended with eight. The Spartans trailed in corner kicks 0-4, but would rally in the second half to finish with four corner kicks in the final half of action.

An inspired half time speech would reset the night's game plan. Westminster started the second half quickly when they scored off a header at 49:07, to take their first lead of the night 3-2. The Spartans settled down and out played Westminster for the rest of the second half. UD held Westminster's shots to eight and led with four corner kicks in the second half and would finish with a flurry of second half attempts which sailed high or wide. The Spartans had a late chance to tie the game as time clicked down to under a minute left of the game. Hernandez Cascante took a free kick just outside the box only to have it soar over the goal and time ran out with the Spartans falling short 2-3 after battling for most of the game with just 10 players on the field.

UD would end the season at 13-6 overall, 6-2 in the IIAC (2nd place) and qualified for their first post season play in the school's history.

"Definitely a game with alot of adversity," commented coach Brad Johnson. "Very happy with the way we went out and faced of some pretty daunting circumstances and pushed forward. For us it was believing in what we had done throughout the season, believing in the process and the players we have. It was a great opportunity to face adversity head on and I thought they did well the entire second half."