DUBUQUE, Iowa — Freshman Marshall Hollingsworth scored Wheaton’s lone goal in a 1-0 victory against Dominican (Ill.) in an NCAA semifinal game. With the win, Wheaton avenges a 2-0 loss to the Stars earlier this season.
Both teams managed 12 shots in the match, with Wheaton (18-3-3) owning a 7-3 edge in shots on goal. Dominican outcornered the Thunder 9-4, including 8-2 in the second half.
In just the second minute, Dominican’s Luiz Montaya found space and rattled the woodwork with a shot off the crossbar that bounded away. After that, both teams were starved for opportunities as the two sides combined for just seven shots in what would be a scoreless first half.
Hollingsworth continued his success early in the second half. He took a pass from Adam Blackman and beat Dominican keeper Maxwell Gutbrod to give Wheaton a 1-0 lead. Gutbrod allowed one goal and made six saves in goal for the Stars.
Both teams had sold opportunities through the middle minutes of the second half, until Dominican started to control the tempo as the second half wore on. In the 74th minute, Marco Alvarez put a dangerous attempt on frame from the right wing that was deflected wide and earned the Stars a corner kick.
Dominican mounted one last assault in the final two minutes of the match. Ryan Seager made one of his two saves on the night on a shot to the near post in the 88th minute that temporarily twarted a Dominican attack. Seager has not allowed a goal in the NCAA tournament and has not allowed a goal in his last 350 minutes.
In the final minute, the Stars pushed everyone forward into the attack and looked to have something when Ryan Ybarra blasted a shot towards an open net, but Kevin Skinker deflected the ball wide for a corner kick with just 25 seconds remaining.
Off the corner, the ball floated loose to the far side of the box and the Stars had one last open look with ten seconds remaining, but the shot flew high and over the crossbar securing the 1-0 victory for the Thunder.
The Stars finish their season with a record of 18-3-1.
Wheaton advances to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since their national runner-up performance in 2006.