Nov. 16, 2012
From Lafayette Athletic Communications
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Despite outshooting the University of Virginia 13-8 in the game and moving through the Cavalier defense for the better half of 90 minutes, Lafayette's championship season came to an end on Thursday afternoon, as an 88th minute goal gave the Cavaliers a 1-0 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Leopards saw numerous opportunities in the game, starting just five minutes into action as a scoring chance off the head of junior midfielder Alec Golini from senior forward Kyle Scharfenberg just sailed wide.
Three minutes later, Virginia's Darius Madson freed himself in front of net, but his turnaround shot went just outside the left post, leaving the game scoreless.
With 26 minutes remaining in the half, Virginia's lone senior, forward Will Bates, came up with a back-footed pass to Scott Thomsen who seemed like he had a lane to the goal. Instead, junior goalkeeper Nathan McDonald came rushing out of his net to steal it off Thomsen's feet and squelch the scoring opportunity.
Then, after midfield exchanges throughout the first half, Lafayette created a quality chance off a cross from senior midfielder Blake Fink, finding classmate Josh Brown inside the top right corner of the 18. Brown's shot sailed just over the far corner of the post, as Lafayette and Virginia went into halftime scoreless. Lafayette outshot Virginia 6-2 in the opening 45 minutes.
The Leopards came out in the second half, controlling play much as they did before the break. The majority of play in the early going was played in Virginia's defensive end as a couple of Lafayette chances were stymied by offsides penalties.
Coming out of the break, the two teams traded midfield battles before Virginia was given a free kick just outside the left border of the 18, its most dangerous free kick of the afternoon. However, sophomore defender Julian Plummer was able to take it out of the air before it got to McDonald and stop the opportunity.
With 22:56 left to play, a corner scrum left senior midfielder Sean Peckham a seam down the left side of the Virginia goal. His cross, though, reached Virginia goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita before junior defender Brandon Turner could put a foot on it.
Virginia controlled the next 15 minutes, but it was the Lafayette defense that ultimately negated a number of Cavalier chances before surrendering a corner kick with less than four minutes remaining.
After Lafayette cleared two corner opportunities, Virginia earned a third straight with just 2:40 remaining. Thomsen fed the corner in and connected with Bates, who headed it far side past McDonald to give the Cavaliers the one-goal advantage. That would prove to be enough for Virginia to secure the victory and end Lafayette's title season.
The Patriot League champions finish 2012 with an overall record of 9-8-4. Virginia travels to New Mexico on Sunday for a battle with the Lobos in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
NOTES: McDonald, the 2012 Patriot League Tournament MVP, tallied three saves on the afternoon ... Scharfenberg paced Lafayette with four shots ... Head coach Dennis Bohn completed his 12th consecutive winning season on College Hill ... The game was the final contest for the six members of the Lafayette men's soccer Class of 2013: Scharfenberg, Josh Brown, Fink, Zach Winthrop, Sean Peckham and Rob Bedson.