Wesleyan 3, Muhlenberg 2

Nov. 9, 2005

Allentown, Pa. -- Matt Nevin scored his second goal of the game 3:18 into overtime to give the Wesleyan University mens soccer team a 3-2 win over Muhlenberg College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships.

The Cardinals (10-5-3), making their first NCAA appearance, advance to face top-ranked and undefeated Messiah in the second round on Saturday.

Nevins game-winner came after he took a diagonal pass that squirted through the Mule defense. Goalie Peter Bennett came out to challenge, but Nevin touched the ball by him and shot it into the net for his eighth goal of the season.

We were concentrating on making those diagonal passes, said Wesleyan Head Coach Geoff Wheeler. The goal was a little lucky, but we talked about making it happen.

Nevins sudden-victory goal ended a contest in which the Mules (13-6) twice came back from one-goal deficits by scoring late in each half. Nevin opened the scoring by making a run down the left side and beating Bennett from close range with 8:04 left in the first half. With just a minute on the clock, however Karim Assous headed in a cross from Christopher King to tie the score at 1-1.

Early in the second half, Peter Glidden headed in Nevins pass off a short corner for his first goal of the season, giving Wesleyan a 2-1 lead. The score remained 2-1 until King one-timed a shot to the upper-right corner of the net for his 13th goal with 2:30 to play in regulation.

It was a great battle. Hats off to Muhlenberg, said Wheeler. In a game like this, its hard being in a hole, and they did it twice. So Im happy to come out of here with a win.

The game was delayed 75 minutes by lightning and heavy rain and was played in muddy conditions.

Matt Gnall made five saves, including two at point-blank range late in the first half and early in the second, to earn the win for the Cardinals. The Mules had a 15-12 advantage in shots.

We fought hard and had our chances, said James Henshaw, one of eight Muhlenberg seniors playing his final game. Its a shame it had to end.

W-Matt Nevin (unassisted), 36:56 M-Karim Assous (Christopher King), 44:00 W-Peter Glidden (Nevin), 53:20 M-King (Wesley Deininger), 87:30 W-Nevin (unassisted), 93:18

Shots: Wesleyan 12, Muhlenberg 15. Saves: Wesleyan * Matt Gnall 5; Muhlenberg * Peter Bennett 2. Corner Kicks: Wesleyan 4, Muhlenberg 3. Fouls: Wesleyan 10, Muhlenberg 15. Offside: Wesleyan 1, Muhlenberg 1.

-- Courtesy Calvin