Nov. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Slippery Rock Athletics

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The 14th-ranked University of Charleston men's soccer team rallied from two one-goal deficits to defeat No. 12 Slippery Rock, 3-2, in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament Saturday at Thompson Stadium. The Rock closes its school record season with an overall record of 18-4-1.

Charleston (19-3-0) will advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999 and will meet the winner of the Midwest Regional final next weekend.

Slippery Rock held two one-goal leads in Sunday's Atlantic Regional final, but the Golden Eagles battled back each time and notched the game-winner late in the second half to seal the win.

Trailing 3-2 with just under eight minutes to play, Slippery Rock had two solid scoring chances to tie the game, including a header off a throw in with just under a minute to play that looked like it was going into the net, but just missed wide left.

The Rock opened the scoring when Jeremy Deighton found the net on a header in the ninth minute off an assist from Patrick Conley, who sent the ball over 40 yards down the field on a free kick. Slippery Rock controlled the game for much of the first 20 minutes and at one point held a 4-0 edge in shots.

Charleston regained momentum toward the end of the second half and tied the game at 1-1 in the 38th minute when Drew DeAngelo found the top right corner of the net off a long throw in by Craig Cantor.

The Rock regained the lead at 2-1 when Kenneth Fultz scored a penalty kick in the 59th minute after Anthony Paganie was fouled in the box. Fultz beat Charleston keeper Sean Teepen into the lower right side of the net on his penalty attempt.

The Golden Eagles battled back again, notching a goal in the 67th minute when Rob Vincent sent a laser into the left side of the net from 15 yards out after taking a pass from Dion Peters.

Darko Karamatic, who finished the game with eight total shots, scored the game-winner in the 83rd minute. He ripped a shot from the center of the box that was stopped by a diving Rock keeper Greg Blum, but the rebound came back to Karamatic and he found the right side of the net for the score.

Slippery Rock had two chances as the clock wound down, including a header by Mitchell Walters that just missed the net with just under a minute to play, but Charleston was able to hold off the charge and seal the win.

Teepen earned the win in goal for Charleston after allowing two goals and recording three saves. Greg Blum took the loss after allowing three goals and recording four saves.

Charleston finished the game with advantages of 17-12 in total shots, 7-5 in shots on goal and 5-2 in corner kicks.

Slippery Rock was without the services of starting midfielder Toby Bowser on Sunday, after Bowser suffered injuries in the first round game against Mercyhurst Friday night.

Sunday marked the second consecutive trip to the regional finals for Slippery Rock, which posted its best season in school history, finishing with a school record 18 wins, winning the PSAC title, and matching the program's longest postseason run.

Sunday marked the final collegiate game for four outstanding Slippery Rock student-athletes, headlined by team captain Jeremy Deighton. Deighton finished the season with a career-high 21 goals and seven assists and was named the PSAC-West Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He is on the ballot for All-Region and All-America honors. His totals of 21 goals and 49 points this season rank third at Slippery Rock in school history. He finishes his career with 112 points, tied for fourth all-time, and 47 career goals, also tied for fourth all-time.

Josh Gauger has been a staple of The Rock's defensive unit over the past two seasons and helped the team allow just 20 goals in 23 games this season. Shaun Reid played his final collegiate game to cap a career the will be remembered for his dedication and perseverance. After suffering through five surgeries on the same knee, Reid returned this season to help anchor the midfield. He finished the year with three assists. Iain Langstone closed his career on a high-note this season, coming on strong down the stretch in scoring situations for The Rock. Langstone finished the year with four goals and two assists, including three-game winners. He scored the tying goal in the PSAC semifinals that kept the game alive and scored the game-winner in the PSAC final over No. 1 Millersville.

The Rock will return 21 players next season under the direction of two-time PSAC-West Coach of the Year Matt Thompson. All-PSAC performers Greg Blum, Thomas Pool and Benjamin Lloyd will all be back.