Richmond – Louis Clark (Brighton, England) scored in the 108th minute of double overtime, and the SU men’s soccer team (14-6) overcame a two-goal deficit to continue its run in the NCAA tournament with a 3-2 victory against No. 19 VCU (12-4-5) on Sunday, Nov. 18 at Sports Backers Field.
“Tonight was a fantastic college match,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre. “I am extremely proud of our team, which showed tremendous character and resolve. We would also like to congratulate VCU on a great season.”
The Rams recorded the first two goals of the match. In the ninth minute, Juan Monge Solano scored on a free kick from the right side of the pitch. Rams defenseman Dennis Castillo scored five minutes later when he converted on a penalty kick opportunity, which was issued as a result of an Orange handball inside of the box.
Clark notched SU’s first tally of the evening, receiving a pass from Jordan Vale (Auckland, New Zealand) just outside of the box. Clark dribbled to his right, and fired past VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells for his third goal of the season.
Stefanos Stamoulactos (Camillus, N.Y.) tied the match in the 30th minute when he received a pass from Clark at the left side of the box. Stamoulacatos fired on goal, and Wells was unable to corral the shot as it rolled into the goal.
The Orange had additional opportunities in the opening frame. Grant Chong (Brighton, Mich.) launched a shot from the top of the box in the 33rd minute, and Stamoulacatos sent a curving attempt to the right side of the frame, but Wells made two saves to preserve the tie going into halftime.
SU controlled possession to open the second frame, recording the first two shots of the period, including a header from Lars Muller (Brandenburg, Germany) that sailed just left of the goal.
Strong defense kept the Orange level with the Rams, as freshman goalkeeper Alex Bono (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) made a tremendous save while backpedaling in the 69th minute. Bono saved another in the 74th minute as he dove to his left.
The Rams had a corner kick opportunity with 23 seconds left in regulation, but Bono made another reaching save to send the match into overtime.
Both teams had opportunities in the first overtime session, but the match remained scoreless to proceed to the second overtime period.
In the 108th minute, the Orange earned the chance it needed. Ted Cribley (Sheffield, England) sent a well-placed service to Clark, who drove to the left side of the box. Clark fired to his right and the ball flew by Wells for the game-winning goal and Clark’s second of the match.
Bono finished the match with a career-high eight saves. Wells grabbed four saves for VCU.
With the win, the Orange advances to the NCAA third round at Georgetown on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Game Notes: The Orange has advanced to the NCAA third round of the first time in school history … Clark increased his season goal output to four … His seven points is a single-game career high.