Randolph Tops DeSales, Off to Sectionals
WildCats to Face UT-Tyler in Sectional Round Next Weekend
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. --- The Randolph College men's soccer team's season continued Sunday evening as the WildCats earned a hard fought 3-2 win over DeSales University in the NCAA Tournament Second Round from Christopher Newport University.
The victory pushed Randolph into the Sweet 16 round where it will take on the University of Texas-Tyler next weekend at a location still to be determined. The WildCats (18-5), in their first NCAA Tournament, have recorded the College's first-ever tournament wins. The victory also marked the eighth straight win for the WildCats, but snapped their six game streak of 2-1 wins.
"We were drained and we had a lot of injuries, bumps and bruises this game, but the guys today it was about their heart," said head coach Bryan Waggoner. "They found a way to grind out a result. It wasn't the prettiest game, but they did all of the things right."
The first half was one of the most action-packed of the season for the WildCats. Randolph opened the scoring on its first shot of the game, as Nick Cornell (Front Royal, VA/Warren Co.) bent in a free kick just 1:35 into the game. The goal was his seventh of the season.
DeSales (15-5-2) answered right back 16 seconds later as a shot by Josh Himes snuck past Randolph keeper Carter Smith (Greensboro, NC/Grimsley) to tie the game at one. Less than two minutes later, the WildCats regained the lead on another goal by Cornell. After Jacob Hood (New Market, MD/Linganore) had a shot on goal, the ball popped to Cornell who buried the rebound.
The WildCats pushed ahead by two goals at 27:45 of the first half as Corey Sindle (Gloucester, VA/Gloucester) finished a gorgeous cross from Jacob Lusczek (Fredericksburg, VA/Chancellor) for his 15th goal of the season. Minutes later, Randolph averted danger as a penalty kick by Jonathan Balfour clanged off the post and out.
After intermission, DeSales cut its deficit in half as Derek Long headed in a rebound off his own shot to make the score 3-2. The WildCats defense held on for the rest of the contest, punching its ticket to the Sweet 16.
Smith was brilliant in goal again Sunday, as the sophomore keeper made 11 saves while Randolph made one team save. DeSales outshot the WildCats 17-11 on the contest, while DU earned five corners to the two of Randolph. Cornell finished with a team-best three shots for the WildCats.
"We were all pretty beat up from the game yesterday," said Cornell. "We just put in the work and determination to get it done. No doubt. Going to the Sweet 16."
Location, time and date of next weekend's contest is still to be determined. For a look at the full bracket, click HERE or go to www.ncaa.com.
This release is courtesy of the Randolph College sports information department.