UNCG advances to Sweet 16 with OT win at West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, WV – Scott Jones scored with 6:11 remaining in the second overtime as UNC Greensboro knocked off sixth-seeded West Virginia, 2-1, Wednesday night to earn a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament's Round of 16.
Jones, a senior from Dallas, TX, scored off a Mike Richardson feed for his seventh goal of the season. It was his second heroic goal in as many NCAA Tournament games. It was the two-time All-American Jones who scored with just 24 seconds left in regulation time to lift UNCG to a 2-1 win over Virginia Tech in the opening round on Saturday.
“I had one last run and Mike (Richardson) had a great ball,” said Jones of his game-winner, the fifth he has been credited with this season. “I was there and it just worked out.”
The Mountaineers (15-3-3) are currently ranked No. 5 by both Soccer America and College Soccer News and have been ranked as high as No. 3 in the polls this season.
"It was an ebb and flow game,” said UNCG coach Michael Parker, the winningest active coach in Division I with 467 wins after Wednesday’s victory. “It was a very even match-up. But I believe we were the better team in overtime. It was our determination. We set a goal at the beginning of the year to make it to the final four and today, we just had a little bit more desire in the end.”
“West Virginia is a very good team,” said Parker. “We felt that this would be a difficult hurdle but we made it through."
The Spartans raised their record to 16-7-1 and move on to the Round of 16. The win marks the third consecutive year they have won two games in the tournament and matches the furthest the Spartans have made it in the tournament since moving to Division I in 1991.
UNCG won five National Championships in its Division III era. Ironically, UNCG won one of those national titles in St. Louis, which is also the site of the national semifinals and finals this season.
The first stanza was a defensive attack for both teams, combining for just four shots on goal. UNCG freshman goalkeeper Nate Berry came up with three big saves for the Spartans. At the 39:35 mark, West Virginia’s Andy Wright sent a slider to the right corner of the net but Berry was there to prevent the goal. The teams went into the half scoreless.
The Spartans broke the tie early in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Jones took a UNCG corner kick from the right side of the pitch. He sent it to the feet of fellow senior Randi Patterson who flicked the ball right past WVU keeper Nick Noble for his 13th goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage.
At the 54:37 mark, Berry once again put up a huge save for the Spartans. A UNCG foul in the box gave the Mountaineers a penalty kick. Dan Stratford lined up and sent it to the right corner, but Berry was there for the diving save.
"Sometimes you just get lucky,” said Berry, a freshman from Holly Spring, NC. “You watch their footing and take an educated guess.”
West Virginia had another penalty kick opportunity at 64:40 after another Spartan foul in the box. Pat Carroll took the shot for the Mountaineers but sent the ball wide left and kept the game 1-0 in UNCG’s favor.
The Mountaineers, however, did tie the game up at 69:46 when Chris Wittig scored his second goal of the year. Tony Lindroos sent a slider pass to Wittig who slipped the ball right past Berry.
The final twenty minutes of the second half was a back-and-forth
battle between the two teams. Although each had great goal
opportunities, neither could connect and the game was sent to
The first overtime saw the Spartans make big offensive attacks
but they were unable to connect. Berry made another great save five
minutes into the first overtime. Stratford made a big push toward
goal, but Berry was there to prevent the game-winner, sending the
game into a second overtime.
UNCG will take on the winner of the Saint Louis/Northwestern match. That match was postponed Wednesday night by inclement weather in the St. Louis area. The match was rescheduled to Thursday at 5 pm ET (4 pm local), at which time the system that is expected to bring a rain/snow mix on Thursday morning should be through the area.
However, the Spartans have been told by the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Committee that they will play on the road for that match on Sunday at a time to be determined.
UNC Greensboro...... 0 1 0 1 - 2
West Virginia................. 0 1 0 0 - 1
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG Patterson (Jones), 51:18; WVU Wittig (Carroll), 69:40; UNCG Jones (Richardson), 103:39. Shots: UNC Greensboro 16, WVU 22. Saves: UNC Greensboro 8 (Berry 8), WVU 4 (Noble 4). Corner Kicks: UNC Greensboro 4, West Virginia 6. Fouls: UNC Greensboro 21, West Virginia 14.
- UNCG -
TOURNAMENT RESULTS THROUGH 10:30 PM (ET)
All Times EST First Round Friday, Nov. 10
Northwestern 3, Cincinnati 0
Hofstra 2, Providence 0
St. John's, N.Y. 1, Monmouth, N.J. 0
New Mexico 1, San Francisco 0
Washington 3, Creighton 0
Saturday, Nov. 11
Bucknell 1, George Masson 0
Fairfield 2, Connecticut 1
Brown 4, Adelphi 1
UNC Greensboro 2, Virginia Tech 1
Northern Illinois 1, Loyola, Ill. 0
Gardner-Webb 1, UAB 1, tie, Gardner-Webb advances 3-1 on penalty kicks
Harvard 2, Binghamton 1
UC Santa Barbara 2, San Diego St. 1
Winthrop 0, Old Dominion 0, tie, Old Dominion advances 4-3 on penalty kicks
Rhode Island 1, Rutgers 1, tie, Rhode Island advances 4-2 on penalty kicks
Illinois-Chicago 3, Western Illinois 0
Second Round Wednesday, Nov. 15
Towson 2, Fairfield 0
California 3, New Mexico 1
UNC Greensboro 2, West Virginia 1, 2OT
Indiana 1, Northern Illinois 0
Wake Forest 5, Hofstra 1
Duke 2, Brown 0
Lehigh 1, Rhode Island 1, Lehigh won 5-4 on penalty kicks
Virginia 4, Bucknell 0
Maryland 2, St. John's, N.Y. 0
Old Dominion 1, North Carolina 0
Notre Dame 1, Illinois-Chicago 0
UC Santa Barbara 3, SMU 1
Gardner-Webb at Clemson, ppd., weather
Northwestern at St. Louis, ppd., weather
Washington (13-6-1) at Santa Clara (12-4-4), 10 p.m.
Harvard (14-4-0) at UCLA (10-5-4), 10 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 16
Gardner-Webb (10-7-3) at Clemson (12-4-2), 12 p.m.
Northwestern (12-7-0) at St. Louis (13-4-2), 5 p.m.
Third Round Saturday, Nov. 18 or Sunday, Nov. 19
Duke (17-3-1) vs. Lehigh (15-2-2)
Gardner-Webb-Clemson winner vs. Harvard-UCLA winner
Maryland (16-4-1) vs. Notre Dame (14-5-2)
California (13-5-1) vs. Virginia (15-3-1)
UC Santa Barbara (14-7-0) vs. Old Dominion (14-5-2)
Northwestern-St. Louis winner vs. UNC Greensboro (16-7-1)
Towson (15-1-3) vs. Wake Forest (16-3-3)
Indiana (15-4-2) vs. Washington-Santa Clara winner
Quarterfinals Nov. 24-25-26
Brown-Duke-Rhode Island-Lehigh winner vs. Gardner-Webb-Clemson-Harvard-UCLA winner
St. John's, N.Y.-Maryland-Illinois-Chicago-Notre Dame winner vs. New Mexico-California-Bucknell-Virginia winner
UC Santa Barbara-SMU-Old Dominion-North Carolina winner vs. Northwestern-St. Louis-UNC Greensboro-West Virginia winner
Fairfield-Towson-Hofstra-Wake Forest winner vs. Northern Illinois-at Indiana-Washington-Santa Clara winner
Semifinals Friday, Dec. 1 At St. Louis
Championship Sunday, Dec. 3 At St. Louis
TBD, 3 p.m.