Courtesy of Centre Athletics
GAMBIER, Ohio (Nov. 24, 2019) – Facing defeat in the final minute of regulation, Centre men's soccer pulled off a stunning come-from-behind 3-2 victory in overtime against Montclair State Sunday afternoon, advancing to the NCAA semifinals with another thrilling decision at Mavec Field.
Trailing 2-1 with less than 60 seconds on the clock, Dylan Barth equalized to force overtime, where Will Newton provided the game-winning golden goal.
The Colonels improve to 20-3-1 overall – setting a record for victories in a season – and continue their best NCAA run ever with a trip to the "Final Four," riding a 14-match winning streak.
Montclair State, which rallied from one down to take its late 2-1 advantage, ends the season with an 18-5-2 record.
- Montclair earned a handful of corner kicks in the opening stages of the match but had no real scoring chances to show for it due to Centre's efficient backline.
- Centre's first shot on goal was a free-kick opportunity from Alexander Garuba in the 16th minute, but it was saved by Montclair's Michael Mejia. Just moments later, Garuba sent a shot ringing off the crossbar.
- Nothing separated the two sides on the scoreboard after 45 minutes.
- That wouldn't last long into the second half, however, as Ethan Noel scored on a shot from distance after finding himself open with space to operate. Carson Hart earned the assist on Noel's second goal of the season.
- Mejia came up with massive saves over the next few minutes as Centre pressured for another goal.
- The Red Hawks had an answer on the other end, however. Nixon Soglo's chip-shot goal leveled the score at 1-1 in the 69th minute.
- Barely two minutes later, Soglo slotted home his second score off a helper from Joe Bianco, making it 2-1 in favor of Montclair State.
- Garuba and Nafiz Budeiri each put shots on frame over the next few minutes, but Mejia proved equal to the task.
- With just 50 seconds on the clock, however, Barth – who missed significant time due to an early injury – capitalized on a scramble in front of the goal face. He found the back of the net for his ninth tally of the season, forcing overtime.
- Montclair State earned two early corners, in the opening overtime session, but both were well defended as no shots were taken against Centre's Haydon Korfhage.
- It didn't take long for Newton to end the affair and officially send Centre through to the national semifinals. Garuba delivered a pinpoint assist over the top of Montclair's defenders, setting up Newton for a one-on-one with Mejia which he took full advantage of for his ninth score of the season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Centre out-shot Montclair State 24-7 overall, including a 10-3 edge in shots on goal. The Red Hawks held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks.
- The Colonels have only trailed three times during their current 14-match winning streak, and Sunday was the first time trailing throughout the NCAA Tournament.
- Their winning streak matches the 1995 squad's 14-game run for the longest in program history.
- Centre's 20 victories top the 1991 team's 19 wins for most in a single season.
Centre meets No. 1/4 Amherst in the NCAA semifinals Friday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Amherst defeated Rensselaer in Sunday's sectional final and returns to the "Final Four" after winning the NCAA Championship in 2015.