Nov. 25, 2008

Courtesy of UNCG Athletics

It got late, but midnight never came for Cinderella on Tuesday night.

Corey Maret scored two minutes into overtime as UNCG topped ninth-seeded Loyola (MD), 2-1, to earn a spot in the Round of 16 and keep the Cinderella season alive.

The Spartans trailed 1-0 late into regulation time, but Nirav Kadam scored with 16 minutes to play to tie the game. Then, just two minutes into extra time, a deflection off a Loyola defender went to Maret, who poked it through to the lower right corner of the goal. 

The win gives the Spartans their fourth Round of 16 appearance in the last five years, although this would go down as the most unlikely of them all. UNCG finished the regular season with 11 losses, tied for the most by any NCAA Tournament qualifier in the 50-year history of the tournament.

The Spartans will face the winner of the South Florida-Harvard winner either Saturday or Sunday in the Round of 16. Loyola (MD) had been the last unbeaten team in the nation this season, owning a 27-game unbeaten winning streak before losing to Fairfield in the MAAC final.

More details soon.