Nov. 22, 2008

 

Courtesy of Stevens

HOBOKEN, N.J. (November 22, 2008) – The Stevens Institute of Technology men’s soccer team advanced to the Sectional final of the 2008 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship over Johns Hopkins University on Saturday night in front of a huge crowd at the De Baun Athletic Complex. The Ducks advanced 2-1 on penalty kicks as sophomore goalkeeper Zach Carr made four outstanding saves during the shootout to lift the Ducks. Stevens will take on defending national champion Middlebury College on Sunday at 6 p.m. with a trip the national semifinals on the line.

Senior tri-captain Jason Nachman put the Ducks up 1-0 on the first attempt of the shootout as he drilled a shot in the lower left corner. Carr dove to his left to make a gorgeous save on a blast off the foot of Nick Gauna (Evanston, Ill.) on the next shot, and freshman Peter Bednarsky put the Ducks up 2-0 when he put one passed Matt Mierley (Weston, Fla.) in the middle-left corner of the goal. Carr made another diving save, and Mierley went on to stone the last three Duck shooters. JHU rookie Corey Adams (Cedar Grove, N.J.) pulled the Blue Jays within one on their third shot of the penalty kick round. He beat Carr by rifling one in the lower-right corner.

With all the chips on the table and Stevens up 2-1, Carr needed to come up with an unprecedented fourth save of the shootout. The sophomore came through, diving to his right to stop Ethan Mulligan’s (Kearny, N.J.) bid to extend the contest. The save lifted the Ducks to the Sectional final for the first time in program history.

The game itself was intense throughout the entire 110 minutes of play. It ended with each squad taking 15 shots, but Hopkins holding a 6-1 advantage in corners. The Ducks had 19 fouls to the 18 committed by Hopkins as each team was issued two yellow cards.

Hopkins started off the game with several excellent scoring chances. The best one came two minutes in when sophomore Kevin Hueber (High Bridge, N.J.) put a shot passed Carr, but senior captain Craig Moquin was there to head the ball out of harm’s way.

At the 35-minute mark, Gauna missed the goal when he was one-on-one with Carr after a through ball got by the Stevens defense. Gauna also headed a shot in the beginning of the second half that Carr denied with a diving save.

Junior captain Todd Sheridan created a couple of strong chances for Stevens in the second half. He blasted two shots that just missed and one that was saved by Mierley.

Hopkins had another great chance in the second overtime after a questionable foul call set up a Blue Jays free kick. The ball was crossed in front and junior Max Venker (Oldsmar, Fla.) put a header on goal, but it hit the cross bar and the match remained scoreless.

Carr was credited with three saves on the night and earned his 13th shutout of the year. Mierley made seven saves for Hopkins. Both Sheridan and sophomore Nolan Sandberg put three shots on goal to lead the Stevens attack.

Stevens (18-2-3) is one of eight teams in the country left standing and will have to defeat the defending national champion on Sunday to advance to the semifinals.

The great crowd at the De Baun Athletic Complex saw a classic contest, and aproixmately 400 more people tuned into the webcast at www.Empire8.tv. Tomorrow’s game will begin at 6 p.m. and will be webcast live.