NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Dan Czernicki’s 19th-minute goal was all underdog Carroll (Wis.) needed, as the Pioneers upset No. 12 Carleton College 1-0 in the NCAA tournament’s first round at Bell Field.
The loss snapped Carleton’s 15-match unbeaten streak, which stretched two months and saw the Knights own a 43-6 scoring advantage.
Mark Gore started the play, playing a diagonal ball from the left side of midfield to the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Teammate Andy Ksobiech chested it down and slotted it through to Gore, who buried it into the side netting for his seventh tally of the season. The goal ended Carleton’s scoreless streak at 755:31, dating back to an Oct. 10 match at Saint Mary’s (Minn.).
“Dan’s a great striker and he makes great runs,” Carroll head coach Rick Mobley said afterwards. “He got it on his foot and I knew it was in the back of the net. That’s what he’s in there to do – score goals.”
The Pioneers, making their fifth NCAA championship appearance, had the better run of play for much of the first half and outshot the hosts 11-7. The second half was a different story though, as the Knights controlled possession and the shot tally 7-2, but they were only able to place two of those seven chances on net.
Pioneer keeper Tomek Miaskowski was active in net, controlling the box and cutting down a number of would-be opportunities by the Knights. His two biggest saves game in the 76th and 82 minute. The first came when Carleton’s Will Schiefeling had a clean look inside the box but hit it right at Miakowski, as did the Knights’ Simon Ginet six minutes later.
“I really felt like, for the first time [in the NCAA tournament], we took the field believing we could win,” Mobley said. “That’s a huge difference and the experience helps, as does the fact that we played St. Olaf last year.”
The Knights ended with a 14-13 advantage in shots, but the Pioneers owned a 5-3 spread in shots on goal. The loss ends one of the best seasons in Carleton men’s soccer history in which it matched the 2008 squad for the most wins in school history.