NCAA Men's Soccer: Brown Advances In Dramatic Fashion, Dartmouth Edged
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Brown and Dartmouth played a pair of NCAA Championship first round games on a cold and wet Thursday. The Big Green fell at Providence College, 1-0, while the Bears came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Fairfield Stags, 3-2, in a home game at Stevenson Field. Brown advances to the Round of 32 and will play at St. John's on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m.
At least two Ivy teams have now made the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship field for seven consecutive seasons, a streak that began in 2005, and at least one Ivy League team has advanced to the second round in each of those seven seasons. Last season, four Ivy League teams made the tournament, including Dartmouth and Brown, who each advanced to the third round.
The Friars scored the game-winner in the 11th minute and fended off the Big Green in the second half to advance to the second round of the national tournament where they will take on UC-Santa Barbara.
Dartmouth concludes the 2011 regular season with an 8-6-4 record with today's loss. The Big Green claimed the 2011 Dartmouth Classic title and earned its ninth Ivy League Championship and the Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
On a rainy and cold night on Stevenson Field, taking on a team that had not been beaten in 13-straight games and eventually facing a 2-0 deficit with just 16 minutes left in the match, Brown came back in miraculous fashion, scoring three goals in just over six minutes to advance past Fairfield 3-2.
Brown was able to hold Fairfield without a shot for the first 31 minutes of the game, and despite all the offensive chances for the Bears, it was the Stags who were able to make the most of their offensive attacks as they scored on their very first shot of the game by Jake Zuniga.
The goal snapped Brown's streak of keeping opponents scoreless at five games. The Bears last goal allowed came on October 22, in a 1-1 tie at Cornell.
In the 39th minute Fairfield was able to increase its advantage as Daniel Shaw headed the perfect cross from Jack Burridge to put the Stags up 2-0.
After the break, it was evenly matched start to the second half as neither team was able to take ball control for an extended period.
The next 11 minutes of the game could go down as the most exciting in the history of the Brown Soccer program.
With just 10:30 to play in the match, senior Sean Rosa was able to cut the Fairfield lead in half powering one in the back of the net from 22-yards out.
Just 32 seconds later, the score was tied. Rosa took control and fired one on net. O'Keefe came up with the initial save, but the ball rebounded off to senior Austin Mandel who buried the chance and equalized the score.
A corner kick with just over 4:30 to play led to sophomore Aiden Leonard with the ball at the top of the box. Despite making his debut just two weeks ago, Leonard came up with biggest goal of the season thus far, slamming it home, past the outstretched reach of O'Keefe and a 3-2 Brown lead that the Bears would hold onto for the win.