California (Pa.) surges to advance
Vulcans score four goals in second half to defeat Shippensburg
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Facing a 1-0 deficit at halftime, No. 24 California-Pa. rallied to score four goals in the second half on Thursday afternoon to claim a 4-2 victory against Shippensburg in the first round of the NCAA tournament hosted by Millersville at Biemsderfer Stadium.
With the win, the Vulcans improve to 12-3-4 this season and advance to face the winner of Mercyhurst-Millersville at 6 p.m. Saturday. Cal U is making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2008. It registered its first win (1-2) on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders, who were making their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, finish the year at 9-6-2 overall.
In the closing seconds of the first period, Shippensburg scored the first goal of game at the 44:38 mark on a deflection following a blocked shot. The Red Raiders took a 1-0 lead into the break despite outshooting the Vulcans 11-1 in the first period.
Cal U tied the game in the 56th minute when senior Edin Sabic scored his sixth goal of the season on a free kick before taking a 2-1 lead at the 60:56 mark when freshman Tyler Woolum collected his second goal of the year.
Shippensburg responded with a goal by Alex Supplee in the 66th minute to even the score at 2-2. Redshirt freshman Chris Hunkele then registered the game-winning goal on a header at the 70:51 mark off a pass from senior Mike Kalas. Cal U added an insurance goal in the 80th minute when sophomore Ryan Slaby scored his second goal of the year .
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Charlie Dagnal, who received All-PSAC first-team honors Wednesday, earned the win after making five saves in 90 minutes of action. Red Raiders' junior Andrew Foran finished with four saves in the losing effort.
The Vulcans played without All-PSAC first-team defender Nemanja Visekruna after he received a red card in the semifinals of the PSAC Tournament last week.
Shippensburg finished the game with a 22-14 advantage in shots, but Cal U held a 13-11 edge in shot attempts during the second half with eight shots on goal. The two teams were whistled for a combined 39 fouls, including 27 in the second period, and issued four yellow cards.