Sports

Men's soccer wins critical UAA game in OT

Junior forward Andrew Park got behind a Washington defender and placed the ball in the far corner of the net behind the Bears? goalkeeper Saturday night. The goal came nine minutes into an extra period that started scoreless and ended in a 1?0 Tartan victory.
The Carnegie Mellon men?s soccer team (7?1?1, 1?1 UAA) beat the Washington University Bears on Park?s goal, his third game-winner in as many goals this season, The team?s defense also played a powerful front all evening.
The Tartans? defense, which has yielded only one goal in nine games this season, kept the rapacious Washington offense in check all night. The Bears were able to keep pace with the Tartans? skilled ball-handling and actually outshot the Tartans 13?11 through regulation, but it was Washington?s last shot that proved most hopeful for the Bears. Sophomore defensive back Chris Watts fought off the Washington forward, who then got a second chance to net the ball from just behind the Tartans? keeper. With only 20 seconds remaining in regulation, first-year goalkeeper Matthew Bazin made an amazing dive to grab the ball. The save preserved the scoreless tie and sent the game into overtime.
?They got a lucky bounce,? said Bazin, who 10 minutes earlier had slid to knock another close Washington shot aside, ?but Chris Watts held him off and I was able to get there in time.?
The game was marked by unyielding aggressive play from both teams? midfielders in controlling the ball for their teams. Neither team fully controlled the pace of the game, but the natural ebb and flow of the game eventually benefited the Tartans. Their most effective attack came in the overtime period.
?They weren?t giving up and we weren?t giving up,? said first-year midfielder Daniel Brackey. ?And then Andy [Park] had that goal.... We already had all those earlier chances in the last 15 minutes of the second half.?
The chances to which Brackey referred had been the Tartans? best chances for scoring: In fact, both teams very nearly scored late in the second half. Washington?s opportunity was the second-chance ball that Bazin grabbed, but the Tartans nearly had one of their own even before Park?s game-winner. In the 81st minute, the Tartans developed a 2-on-1 and just missed a shot right of the goal.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Tartans crushed the Point Park Pioneers 5?0, collectively outshooting them 29?3. The game featured goals from five different Tartans, including Park and the team?s goals leader, junior forward Jonathan Browne.
CMU, which fell in their UAA opener against Chicago last weekend, now is back on track to contend for their sixth straight conference title. ?Chicago?s goal was tough,? said Bazin of the only goal the team has given up this season, ?but tonight it came together and I think we?re going to be rolling for the rest of the season.?
The Tartans play next weekend at Gesling Stadium against Brandeis and New York University, two more conference opponents who are each looking for their first respective conference wins.