Men’s Soccer Falls in PKs to North Park in NCAA Second Round

Posted on November 17th, 2019 by

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO, Ill. – It took penalty kicks for No. 19 North Park to take down the Gustavus men’s soccer team in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon. The regional host Vikings were able to edge the Gusties 1-1 2OT (5-4 PKs).

“We are disappointed but proud of what, in time, will feel like a fantastic season,” said Head Coach Tudor Flintham.” North Park is an incredible team and our guys were joking before the game that they were a semi-pro Scandinavian team, which isn’t far from the truth. So to go into halftime knowing that we probably should have been leading with the kinds of chances we created, underlined our own qualities and we knew we’d get our opportunity to level and maybe go ahead. At the end only one team can advance and PKs are cruel. But we’ll celebrate our successes this season and congratulate North Park on what is a very gifted team and coaching staff.”

The pace of play was quick in the early goings of the contest, with neither team gaining a real edge. Each team generated two shots in the first 19 minutes of play and it was the third from North Park that gave them the early lead. In the 20th minute the Vikings played a through ball ahead to a forward who was able to split a pair of Gustie defenders and make a move on Wesley Sanders (Fy., Urbandale, Iowa) for the goal. The teams played a scoreless rest of the half with neither team gaining a ton of chances.

In the second period North Park seemed to have momentum early, taking a barrage of shots, but not being able to put them on net. As the Vikings held their one point lead and time started to wind down, Gustavus started putting more and more pressure on the defense of North Park. With less than three minutes to play, a handful of Gusties went to the left corner and battled for a ball that was eventually won by Matt Gibbons (Jr., Minneapolis). Gibbons took a few dribbles towards midfield and sent in a cross to the back post that Otis Anderson (Fy., Minneapolis) timed perfectly and knocked it in to even things up at 1-1 with 2:36 to play.

The assist by Gibbons sets a new single-season program record, breaking the previous mark set by Terry Cottingham set in 1972.

The teams played the rest of regulation scoreless and went to overtime. In both the first, and second overtime neither team could muster a goal, with North Park outshooting Gustavus 7-1 in the 20 minutes, so they went to PK’s.

Gibbons, Max McLaughlin (Fy., Urbandale, Iowa), Trace Dobson (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Anderson all knocked in their PK attempts, while the Vikings also knocked in their first four and then started the fifth and final PK frame with a make. Cole Schwartz (So., Jakarta, Indonesia) took the fifth and final kick, and the North Park goalkeeper made the save for the victory.

Sanders played the full 110 minutes in net, allowing one goal while making two saves.

The Gusties finish the season 18-3-1.

“This season has taught us a lot, as we were incredibly young,” said Flintham. “We started five first years in the MIAC title game, five in NCAA round 1, four in round 2, and that’s with a 49 pt rookie out injured for all three games. We also started a first year 92 times this year, so we feel like the foundations are strong and future is bright. We are also immensely proud of these seniors… who in my two years with them have won three MIAC titles and have taken the 2017 National Runner-up right to the edge of the sweet 16 tonight. It’s hard to leave a program like Gustavus better than you found it… but I hope they feel joy in knowing they built on our legacy, and we’ll continue to honor theirs”
 

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