DENVER, Colo. -- The Rangers made history as they qualified for the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in the sport's 27-year history.
In both 2010 and 2012, Regis qualified the tournament, losing in the first round in 2010 and again in their first ever third round appearance in 2012 so the Rangers have a lot riding on their shoulders.
Earning the rights to play in their second consecutive third round appearance with another bye says a lot about the programs play throughout regular season, but the Rangers also needed to come out and play hard on the Regis Match Pitch Friday against Midwestern State.
They did just that, despite going down a goal early in the second half when Midwestern put one over sophomore goalie Christian Nicolosi (5-1-1) and the Ranger defense in the 53rd minute. Regis maintained composure and fought throughout the match outshooting their opponents 16-10.
RU put eight of those shots on goal, while allowing MSU the one shot on goal (the goal) during regulation and almost one full overtime.
With the game on the line and the clock running down, RU earned one last corner kick with roughly six minutes left of regulation. Sophomore Jacob Martinez crossed in and junior Arnthor Kristinsson was there to pick it up, directing the ball through to the back of the net.
There were a few more close calls from both sides before the match was sent into extra time.
Ten minutes goes fast when there is a lot relying on a big game and with nine seconds left on the clock, Regis senior Mark Kelly (14 goals) knocked in the golden game-winner to earn the Rangers their first quarterfinals appearance.
Head coach Tony McCall made a huge line change, putting in junior Andreas Bitter on the front line to change things up for Regis and it was a play that paid off big.
Bitter broke down the right flank with the ball and crossed in from the right of the 18-yard box to Kelly. Kelly took a touch to misdirect the Mustang defense and ripped one center through to the goal for the victory.