Randolph holds off DeSales 3-2
Cornell tallies two goals as WildCats advance to third round
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Randolph’s amazing season continued on Sunday as the WildCats earned a hard fought 3-2 win against DeSales in second-round NCAA tournament action on the campus of Christopher Newport.
With the victory, Randolph advanced to the third round where it will meet Texas-Tyler next weekend. The WildCats (18-5), in their first NCAA tournament, have captured the school’s first-ever tournament wins.The victory also marked the eighth consecutive win for the WildCats.
“We were drained and we had a lot of injuries, bumps and bruises this game but the guys today it was about their heart,” Randolph head coach Bryan Waggoner said. “They found a way to grind out a result, it wasn’t the prettiest game but they did all of the things right.”
The first half was one of the most action-packed of the season for the WildCats. Randolph opened the scoring on its first shot of the game, as Nick Cornell bent in a free kick just 1:35 into the game. The goal was his seventh of the season.
DeSales (15-5-2) answered right back 16 seconds later as a shot by Josh Himes snuck past Randolph keeper Carter Smith to tie the game at one. Less than two minutes later, the WildCats regained the lead on another goal by Cornell. After Jacob Hood had a shot on goal, the ball popped to Cornell who buried the rebound to give Randolph a 2-1 advantage.
The WildCats pushed ahead by two goals at 27:45 of the first half as Corey Sindle finished a gorgeous cross from Jacob Lusczek for his 15th goal of the season. Minutes later, Randolph averted danger as a penalty kick by DeSales' Jonathan Balfour clanged off the post and out.
After intermission, DeSales cut its deficit in half as Derek Long headed in a rebound off his own shot to make the score 3-2. The WildCats defense held strong for the rest of the contest to punch its ticket to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Smith was brilliant in goal again on Sunday, as the sophomore keeper made 11 saves while Randolph made one team save. DeSales outshot the WildCats 17-11 on the contest, while DU earned five corners to the two of Randolph. Cornell finished with a team-best three shots for the WildCats.