Randolph Stuns CNU in NCAA First Round
WildCats to Face DeSales on Sunday in Second Round
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. --- The Randolph College men's soccer team won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game Saturday evening, knocking off second-ranked and title hopeful Christopher Newport University from Captains Field.
With the victory, Randolph (17-5) advances to the second round to take on DeSales University Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. DeSales knocked off York (PA) College, 1-0, Saturday afternoon. The win was the WildCats seventh straight, and sixth consecutive by a score of 2-1.
The WildCats were out possessed in the first half, as the Captains had lots of chances to the tune of a 12-4 shot advantage. Randolph made its first chance count though, as sophomore Corey Sindle (Gloucester, VA/Gloucester) had a shot from the top of the 18. The shot short-hopped the Christopher Newport keeper and bounced back to Sindle, who blasted it home for his 14th goal of the season.
CNU had a great chance with under a minute to go in the first half. Alex Makumbi blasted a shot off a free kick that was saved off the line. The ball bounced back to the Captain's Michael Zimmerman whose shot missed just high and wide right.
Four minutes into the second half, Randolph struck again to double its lead to 2-0. Midfielder Nick Cornell (Front Royal, VA/Warren Co.) took a seemingly harmless shot from 20 yards out. The ball skipped along the ground and as CNU keeper Justin Wolfe went down to pick it up the ball skipped over the diving attempt to give Cornell his sixth goal of the year.
CNU (17-1-1) answered right back five minutes later as Winston Mattheisen converted a nice passing sequence from Jalon Brown and Caleb Lewis to cut the WildCat lead in half. After that point, the Carter Smith (Greensboro, NC/Grimsley) show came to town.
Smith made two point-blank saves on Brian Lybert on break aways, and also minutes later made a diving save on a free kick from Caleb Lewis. In the 71st minute, Mattheisen got some space but his attempt slammed off the top of the cross bar. At 76:53, Lybert had another great chance, but Smith stymied him again.
"They were coming down at us the whole game, but our defense held strong," said Smith. "I felt good today. Normally with crowds this big I get a bit angry, and it affects my play, but today I enjoyed it and it was fun to play in this game."
The WildCat back line battled one of the best offenses in the nation down the stretch and held them off, as a late corner kick from CNU in the waning seconds went for naught.
"My guys fought to the end," said head coach Bryan Waggoner. "I asked them to leave everything on the field today and that's what they did, but that's what it's gonna take to beat a great team like Christopher Newport."
Christopher Newport outshot the WildCats 28-7 and earned all 10 corner kicks in the game. Smith finished with 10 saves on the contest, while Wolfe posted three stops.
Junior Joe Skaja (Yorktown, VA/Grafton), who grew up 10 minutes from CNU, had one of his best games of the season, and has been one of the best players for the WildCats of late. "It was nice to beat them. We aren't ranked and we've had a bit of a tumultuous season, but we came out tonight and showed that the ODAC season prepared us for this."
The attendance was listed at 1,995, which was a record for Captains Field, but many were wearing black and yellow. "We knew this was going to be a hostile crowd. We knew Christopher Newport is a big soccer school," said Waggoner. "To have our fans here to counter-balance their fans I know drove our guys to get this victory.
Among those fans in the crowd were many of the original players that started the Randolph tradition, and they are enjoying the ride this year's version of the WildCats is having. "For one thing, its been our belief that we could do it," said 2010 senior Jonathan Bolton. "Believing in coach since day one has set up all of this."
This release is courtesy of the Randolph College sports information department.