November 10, 2012

Fords top Cardinals in PK shootout to advance to NCAA 2nd round

GLENSIDE, Pa. - The Haverford College men's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III men's soccer championship by topping Wesleyan (Conn.) University 4-2 on penalty kicks after playing the Cardinals to a 2-2 tie through regulation and a pair of overtime periods Saturday night at Arcadia University.

The Fords (12-7-1) and Cardinals (9-4-4) combined for nine shots on goal through 110 minutes of a physical, entertaining battle. Forced to settle the outcome of the contest through penalty kicks, Haverford benefited from stellar play from junior goalie Andriy Mshanetskyy, who made two tremendous saves during the shootout to propel the Fords to a second-round match-up against fifth-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology (17-2-2) at 5 p.m. on Sunday night at Arcadia.

Colin Seitz tallied his fifth goal of the season to open the scoring in the 36th minute of the contest. Seitz took a cross from David Robinson and with a great individual effort nailed a shot past Wesleyan keeper Jack Purdy (9-4-4). It was just the 10th goal Purdy, the New England Small College Athletic Conference's player of the year, had given up in over 1,600 minutes of action in goal this season.

The Cardinals quickly answered just over three minutes later when Rory O'Neill headed home Brandon Sousa's free kick from 35 yards out to forge a 1-1 tie at intermission.

Colin Lubelczyk came close to pushing Haverford ahead once again in the 64th minute but his shot found the crossbar. Thirteen minutes later Brady Seitz delivered as he fought off a defender deep in the box for a Matt Johnson cross. Brady Seitz turned and fired a shot high in the net past Purdy. The Fords became just the second team to score two goals on Wesleyan this season as their vaunted defense, ranked 13th nationally in team goals against average, surrenders an average of just over half a goal a game (0.54).

Once again the Cardinals rallied when Hans Erickson scored the equalizer from the right side of the box with just over three minutes left on the clock in regulation.

Each team had an opportunity to win the contest in the extra sessions but the goalies stood tall. Purdy turned away Sam Yarosh's header in the 98th minute and Mshanetskyy swallowed up a tough shot by Daniel Issroff at 103:05 to keep the contest tied.

Mshanetskyy (12-6-1) gave Haverford a boost by registering a save on Walter Rodriguez's initial penalty kick attempt. Feeding off the emotion of Mshanetskyy's stop, the Fords confidently stepped up and one by one drilled well-placed shots past Purdy. Matt Gorski, Robinson, Yarosh and Dan Garfing all picked their spots successfully and Mshanetskyy delivered a final save on Chris Kuehn to extend Haverford's magical season.

Purdy, Wesleyan's career leader in shutouts, made two saves in the loss while Mshanetskyy finished with three stops.

"It was a great team effort," said head coach Shane Rineer. "Our guys battled. We really demonstrated some resilience and Andriy was able to come up huge for us in penalties."

Stevens defeated 23rd-ranked Methodist University, 2-0, in the first game at Arcadia on Saturday night. Sunday's 5 p.m. contest should be another defensive battle as the Ducks are undefeated in their last 16 games and have not allowed a goal in over a month.

The winner of Sunday's game will move on to third-round play next Friday and Saturday.