#19 Spartans Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals on PKs over #10 Kenyon

#19 Spartans Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals on PKs over #10 Kenyon

The 19th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team will be headed to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals for the first time in program history, advancing past 10th-ranked Kenyon College on penalty kicks, 5-4, after a 2-2 draw in double-overtime in the round of 16 on Friday evening in DiSanto Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Spartans, who now stand at 16-3-2 on the season, will host fourth-ranked Calvin College in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. for the right to advance to the semifinals in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 30th.  Calvin defeated Penn State – Behrend 4-1 in the other sectional semifinal on Friday at DiSanto Field.  Fans can follow the action with live video at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/live and live stats at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/tournament/boxscores/20181117_bngl.xml.

Kenyon, which suffered its only loss of the season to the Spartans earlier in the year, ended its campaign with an 18-1-3 overall record following Friday's game, which goes as a tie in the record books.

After regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods ended with the score knotted at 2-2, the game went into a shootout to decide the advancing team.  Each team's first four kickers nailed their attempts, with junior Zachary Senft, junior Brian Woo, sophomore Connor Weber and sophomore Seldon Magruder all connecting on penalty kicks for the Spartans, while Kenyon's Brice Koval, Greg McNeer, Max Taylor and Bret Lowry each made their shots.

Coming down to the final kick, junior Garrett Winter was able to convert for CWRU, shifting pressure to the Lords final kicker, David Anderson, who scored the game-tying goal earlier in the contest.  However, CWRU freshman goalkeeper Charlie Fink made a diving save on the shot, deflecting it away to allow the Spartans to advance to the next round.

The Spartans are now guaranteed their best national finish in program history.  The team had previously reached the round of 16 in 2006, suffering a 4-3 setback in a shootout to Ohio Wesleyan, which included a made penalty kick by current Spartan head coach Brandon Bianco, who then was a player for Ohio Wesleyan.

Kenyon took the early lead in the game, scoring in the 10th minute of play on Philippe Stengel's seventh goal of the season, off a pass from the end line by Koval.

However, the Spartans took the lead with a quick flurry of goals at the end of the first half.  Sophomore Nathan Ekberg headed in a free kick by Weber for his fifth goal of the season, evening the score at 1-1 in the 42nd minute.  Just 90 seconds later, the Spartans would strike again, this time on an unassisted goal by Magruder after stealing the ball away from the Kenyon keeper and parking it into the empty net for the score.

CWRU remained ahead until the 55th minute, when Anderson struck for the game tying score, heading in a long ball from McNeer and knotting the score at 2-2.  The score would remain tied through the rest of regulation and the two overtime stanzas.

The tie score was indicative of what was a tightly played match throughout.  Both teams finished the game even in shots with 19 apiece.  CWRU held a slight edge in shots on goal, 7-5, while Kenyon secured a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Fink made three saves in goal for the Spartans over his 110 minutes of action.  Senft and Ekberg finished with five shots apiece to lead CWRU in the game.