Nov. 22, 2009

Courtesy of Le Moyne

Syracuse, N.Y. - Senior goalkeeper Steve White (Cortland, N.Y./Cortland) stopped two shots in the penalty kick shootout to lead the Le Moyne College men's soccer team to a 3-2 win over Southern New Hampshire University in the shootout of the NCAA East Region finals on Sunday afternoon at the Thomas J. Niland Athletic Complex. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie over 110 minutes to force the shootout to determine which team advanced to the national semifinals.

On the opening attempt of the shootout, White dove to his right to turn away the shot by Michael Adam. Junior midfielder Zach Kuzemka (Chenango Forks, N.Y./Chenango Forks/Fairfield) then buried his attempt into the back of the net to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead. On SNHU's next attempt, Jayme Kapinos had his shot initially saved by White, but the ball rolled back into the goal to even the shootout at one apiece. Sophomore Jesse Carr (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles) regained the lead for the Dolphins by putting his shot into the right side of the goal. After Richard Kentish blasted his shot off the left post, junior Sean Lawlor (Kirkham, Preston/Baines School) hit the crossbar to keep the score 2-1. Paul D'Angelo evened the shootout at two on SNHU's fourth attempt, but sophomore Marcus Debottis (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) scored on Le Moyne's fourth attempt for the eventual winner. Adrian Schippers, last year's Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year, shot at the left post, but White made the diving catch to seal the shootout victory.

The two teams played a scoreless opening 45 minutes to go into halftime deadlocked. Each team recorded five shots in the half, with White making a pair of saves for the Dolphins.

The Dolphins broke through in the 75th minute on Kuzemka's fourth goal of the season. Kuzemka took a pass from sophomore midfielder Josh Mabee (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) at the top of the penalty box, took a dribble and drilled a left-footed shot underneath goalkeeper Joey Kapinos at the 74:56 mark.

The Penmen had an opportunity to tie the score in the 78th minute, but White made a diving save on a shot towards the upper right corner by Christian Rodriguez. Less than three and one-half minutes later, the Penmen evened the score at one goal apiece. Chris Tsonis took a feed from Daniel Hernandez just inside the penalty box and scored into the lower right corner of the goal with 8:36 remaining in regulation.

In the two overtime periods, the Penmen registered a 3-0 advantage in shots, but could not score the game-winner. At the 1:52 mark of the second overtime period, Adam launched a shot from 25 yards, but White was able to punch the ball over the crossbar.

Le Moyne (18-2-3), which is unbeaten over its last nine games, will face #1 nationally-ranked Fort Lewis in the NCAA Semifinals on Dec. 3 at Pepin Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN'S SOCCER BRACKETS

NCAA DIVISION II MEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS INFORMATION

#6 Le Moyne 1, #22 Southern New Hampshire 1
#22 So. New Hampshire (14-4-4)       0          1          0          0          -           1
#6 Le Moyne (18-2-3)                          0          1          0          0          -           1

Le Moyne wins shootout 3-2

#22 So. New Hampshire (14-4-4): SCORING: Chris Tsonis 1-0, Daniel Hernandez 0-1. GOALKEEPING: Joey Kapinos (110:00, 1 GA, 1 save).

#6 Le Moyne (18-2-3): SCORING: Zach Kuzemka 1-0, Josh Mabee 0-1. GOALKEEPING: Steve White (110:00, 1 GA, 9 saves).