BABSON PARK, Mass. – The University of Scranton men’s soccer team appears to thrive on being challenged. Faced with a deficit and less than 10 minutes to play in Sunday’s NCAA Division III Tournament second-round match, the Royals answered in the only way they know how.
Senior midfielder Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) tied the game with a penalty kick late in regulation and junior forward Nick Paganelli (Ossining, N.Y./Fordham Preparatory) won it in overtime as Scranton defeated Colorado College, 2-1, in overtime at Hartwell-Rogers Field on the campus of Babson College.
The win puts the Royals into the sectionals (third and fourth rounds) on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18, at a site to be determined. Scranton will face the winner of Stevens Institute of Technology and Haverford College in a third-round match on Saturday, Nov. 17. Stevens and Haverford were scheduled to play a second-round match on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Scranton controlled the action for most of the afternoon, outshooting the Tigers, 21-8, in the match. But despite several good chances for Scranton in both halves, it was Colorado College who scored first, with the goal coming on a direct kick by senior forward Daniel Wright (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Lowell Whiteman School) that hit the left post and bounced in with 8:45 to play.
The Royals went into full offensive mode, eventually sustaining pressure in the in the 88th minute before McGuiness was fouled in the penalty area at the 87:37 mark. His penalty kick was true, setting off a celebration on the Scranton sidelines.
Before Scranton had a chance to win it in overtime, senior goalie James Dillon (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) made a tremendous leaping save to tip a shot over the crossbar on a direct kick 90 seconds into the period.
The Royals then turned to their offense shortly thereafter when McGuiness found senior midfielder Patrick M. Daley (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) on the right side. Daley chipped the ball over the Tigers’ goalie and Paganelli was in the perfect spot, tapping it home to clinch the Royals’ first trip to the sectionals since 1990.
Daley and McGuiness were both credited with assists on the play, the fourth of the year for Daley and seventh for McGuiness. Paganelli’s goal was his third. The earlier goal by McGuiness was his team-leading 12th of the season and second on a penalty kick. His 12 goals are the most for Scranton since Jeremy Basedow had 17 in 2002.
The Royals had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks and 8-3 in shots on goal, including five by McGuiness. Dillon finished with a pair of saves to improve to 13-1-2 on the season.
Scranton, which entered the weekend ranked 25th in the D3soccer.com top 25, improves to 16-2-2. The 16 wins are the ninth-most in school history. Colorado College had its season end at 14-5-3.
Scranton, which is making its 14th NCAA tournament appearance, is now 14-7 all-time in NCAA tournament matches. The win marks the furthest the Royals have advanced since 1983 when they reached the national semifinals, the last in a string of four straight Final Four appearances.
Scranton is now 3-0-1 all-time against Colorado College, having beaten the Tigers in 1990 and 1993, and tying them in 1986.
The Royals will find out on Monday the location and time of their third-round match on Saturday, Nov. 17.