Courtesy of UofRAthletics.com
ONEONTA, NY – The University of Rochester men’s soccer team used some late game dramatics to rally past Connecticut College 2-1 in overtime, winning in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday at SUNY Oneonta’s Red Dragon Field.
Rochester moves to 12-3-3 on the season and will play host SUNY Oneonta in the second round, as the Red Dragons ousted WPI 6-5 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw through 110 minutes. The loss ends Conn College’s season at 9-4-4.
The Yellowjackets got the game-winner just 2:26 into the overtime period when Josh Cooley took a shot into the right side of the net after a cross from the left endline by teammate Cristian Baltier. It was a great individual effort in setting up the play by Baltier, as the sophomore dribbled and danced his way around numerous Camel defenders and tip-toed along both the sideline and endline before sending the ball into the box to Cooley for the finish.
Rochester sophomore Zach Lawlor (Webster, NY/McQuaid) ended up scoring the equalizer with just under 10 minutes to play, tying the game at one after heading in a deflected ball following a long throw in from the left side by junior Bryce Ikeda. The initial throw was bobbled by the Conn College keeper AJ Marcucci and then got deflected to Lawlor who snuck his header between two defenders and inside the right post for his first tally of the season.
The Camels would break the scoreless game in the 55th minute when Chris Lockwood headed in a corner kick from teammate Graham Koval. Just seconds before, Lockwood had an open shot from the edge of the crease blocked away by the UR’s Nate Leopold at the right post, with a rebound attempt being deflected away again, leading to the set piece which led to the goal.
A well-played but scoreless first half saw a few chances generated by both squads. The Camels best opportunity in the opening 45 minutes came at 23:21 when Ben Manoogian ripped a blast from 25 yards out straight on, but the Rochester senior goalkeeper Brown made a great diving save to his right.
Late in the opening half, UR senior co-captain Aleks Dombrowski nearly found the back of the net to open the scoring, but his long ball from the right side deflected off the crossbar and out to safety where the Camels could clear it away.
After Conn College had taken the 1-0 lead, Rochester’s first chance after to possibly tie the game came in the 74th minute after another strong service from Baltier, who sent a cross in from the right side but just missed connecting with senior Geoffrey Rouin who was charging at net. The ball eventually found the foot of Mitch Volis, but the sophomores shot sailed high.
In the goals, Brown made five saves in picking up his 12th win of the season, while Marcucci made two stops in the loss for the Camels.
The Rochester-Oneonta match is slated for a 1 pm kick-off on Sunday afternoon, with a spot in the NCAA round of 16 on the line.