No. 4 Delaware Battles Hard Versus No. 1 William and Mary, But Hens Fall 1-0 in Double Overtime Thriller
November 12, 2010
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. –After some of the most exciting soccer in recent University of Delaware history, the men’s team fell in double overtime to the top-seeded and 14th ranked William & Mary Tribe in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament Friday night.
"The second half of the season has been electric for us and the experience we have had at the CAA playoffs for the last few days has been terrific for our student-athletes,” said UD head coach Ian Hennessy of his team’s 4-2-2 record over the final seven contests. “The award ceremonies last night were a special time of recognition for the players, the coaching staff and our University. I hope it serves to strengthen their desire to get back here again.”
Prior to the goal, Delaware was working a 379-minute shutout streak. The Tribe was the only team to have scored against Delaware in the Hens’ last seven games.
With just 26.7 seconds left in the second overtime period, William & Mary’s Nicolas Abrigo broke free and controlled a long-range pass from Ryan Snyder. Abrigo dribbled down the left side of the field and chipped in a ball that banked of the right post and into the goal.
With 17:10 left in the first half, the Tribe (14-3-2) had its best opportunity of the period as Abrigo took a shot, with the Hens’ netminder Brandon Paul making the stop, but gave up a rebound. Abrigo controlled the rebound and took another attempt, this time hitting the right post, allowing Paul to scoop up the rebound.
Delaware’s best chance of the first 45 minutes came with 1:30 left in the period. Senior captain Jon Scheer took a neat little chip shot from in side the 18-yard box, looking for the top left corner, but missed by just inches.
The match was almost as even as it could get in the first half, with both teams registering five shots. The Tribe held the in advantage in shots on goal, taking five to the Hens two, but Paul was up to the task, stopping each of the attempts. Delaware (6-9-3) took two corner kicks while William & Mary had just one.
With 14:20 on the clock, the Tribe’s Jimmy Carroll had the best chance for either side, taking a shot from just outside the right corner of the 18, but bent it just past the far left post.
William & Mary peppered the Hens’ backs, taking two shots with Vincent Mediate and Darren O’Connor each blocking a shot.
Paul made the save of the half as Nathaniel Baako took a leaping jump and got a head on the ball, but Paul got a fist on it and cleared the zone, getting the match through a scoreless regulation.
Paul finished the game with seven saves. The Tribe narrowly outshot Delaware 17-13, while the Hens put five of their attempts on goal.
Courtney Hewitt led Delaware with two shots on goal while Evans Frimpong (above at right) took three total with one on the mark. Five of the Blue Hens, Michael Stone, Ben Rodkey, John Dineen, Darren O’Connor and Roberto Vernaschi played in all 110 minutes of the game. Stone and Rodkey each recorded two shots.
“We have been swamped this past week with kind words from our alumni and
staff, and the administration has been terrific in their support of the
lads,” said Hennessy. “It has been a great story in the CAA for us all this year. It's a story that I hope future teams can draw from as we continue to move our UD soccer
program forward in the coming years at this great institution".
In the first game, the Pride of Hofstra University got by second-seeded Virginia Commonwealth 2-1. After the conference’s Defender and Rookie of the Year Shaun Foster was given a yellow card at the 81:42 mark, the Pride tied things up in the 85th minute as Tyler Botte scored his first goal of the season.
With just five seconds left in the contest, Johnnes Grahn was awarded a penalty kick and made good on the attempt to advance Hofstra to the CAA Finals where they will face William & Mary. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.
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