ERIE, Pa. -- Sophomore Dominic Samuel scored twice and senior Pierre Omanga added a late insurance goal as No. 2 seed Southern New Hampshire rallied past top-seeded LIU Post 3-1 Friday morning in the East Region final of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship at Mercyhurst. The Penmen, who are ranked No. 1 in the latest poll, advance to the NCAA quarterfinals Sunday and improve to 20-1 with their 20th consecutive win, while the Pioneers see their season come to a close at 18-2-2.
The Penmen are making their fourth quarterfinal appearance in the last five years.
Southern New Hampshire found itself in unfamiliar territory early as the Pioneers struck first in the 23rd minute. After a series of connecting passes, Matias Ruiz played a short cross to the far left post to Per Forgaard, who headed it home for his second goal of the season. It marked the first time the Penmen had trailed in a game since Oct. 16 at Saint Michael's, an eventual 5-1 win, and just the third time SNHU had trailed all season.
The LIU Post lead was short-lived, as Samuel tied the game at the 24:55 mark. Jonathan Lupinelli played a left-to-right corner kick into the box that Samuel headed home for his second goal of the season. The game remained tied 1-1 at halftime.
Samuel struck again on another corner kick 4:15 into the second half, heading home a right-to-left corner kick from Christian Rodriguez. Just a minute later, Mohamed Toufik nearly made it 3-1, but his uncontested attempt rang off the crossbar.
Omanga recorded his 20th goal of the season with 1:26 remaining. After taking a pass from Miguel Carneiro, Omanga found himself alone with Pioneer keeper Marco Jorgensen, who had come out to play Omanga. Jorgensen was able to get a hand on Omanga's long-range attempt, but it found the back of the net to seal the win for Southern New Hampshire.
Dom DiMaggio made a pair of saves for Southern New Hampshire en route to the victory, while Jorgensen turned aside 11 shots as the Penmen outshot the Pioneers 21-7. Southern New Hampshire also generated an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks on the afternoon.