Mutuku's blast lifts Warriors past Monarchs in first round
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- In a game that was 90 minutes long, it took only about five seconds into the first half for freshman forward Alfonce Mutuku to strike and help Lycoming to a 1-0 win against King's (Pa.) in the first round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at McCarthy Stadium on Thursday night.
Mutuku, whose shot was one of just seven on the night for the Warriors, came in the 18th minute, as he streaked down the left sideline before firing from the 15-yard line into the upper right corner for his eighth goal of the season. The goal snapped a 238-minute scoreless stretch for the Warriors (11-7-4 overall) that dated back to the double-overtime goal in the 1-0 win against Lebanon Valley in the Commonwealth Conference tournament first round.
But King's (11-5-5 overall) wasn't able to snap the Warriors' defensive scoreless stretch, which stretched to 538 minutes with the team's fifth consecutive shutout.
Lycoming will now get set to head to Rutgers-Camden at 1 p.m. Sunday for the NCAA tournament second-round game against the Scarlet Raptors
In the second half, the Warriors got the first good opportunity in the 62nd minute, as junior Luke Klingler launched a free kick toward the left post and junior Kevin Seymour just missed heading it into the near corner, but the King's goalkeeper was able to corral it.
In the 68th minute, the Warriors had another near miss when freshman Bill Kerr took a free kick from the 45 that was headed by McNiff to the far post where junior Trever Bishop kicked it just over the crossbar.
In the 76th minute, King's closed in on a breakaway after the Lycoming defense kicked it back, but Daniel Hernandez busted through the line and neared the ball, but Keenan was able to deflect the kick away. The Lycoming defense was suffocating throughout the game, helping keep King's from getting good open looks at the net. In the 81st minute, Andrew Tuminello took a shot wide after four Lycoming defenders swarmed the ball and forced the angle wide.
Lycoming got one more shot in the 83rd minute, as McNiff took a free kick that found Mutuku's head, but the attempts rolled wide. King's continued to pressure, but a shot with 1:30 left by Nygren came from 45 yards out as the Lycoming defense stayed tight.
Nygren got King's best chance in the first half when he took a shot high into from just inside the box in the 28th minute. In the 37th minute, a throw-in got into the box where Ritchie Reyes got his leg on it and sent it off the left post.
Lycoming got the first quality chance of the game in the 11th minute, as a ball was crossed into the box and to the foot of freshman Moises Lazo, but his shot sailed high. Three minutes later, Lazo got another opportunity, as a thru pass led him right towards the goal, but King's keeper Mark Labbadia covered the ball before Lazo's shot could find air.
The early chances kept coming, as King's nearly got a shot in the 15th minute, as the Warriors failed a clear with a header, but Keenan covered it up before King's could get a shot off.
Keenan wrapped up his eighth shutout of the season for the Warriors, making two saves off the Monarchs' six shots. Mark Labbadia also stopped two shots for King's.