NCAA Tournament Run Ends For WildCat Men’s Soccer in 2-1 Overtime Loss to Texas-Tyler
REDLANDS, CA — The Randolph College men's soccer team's history-making journey through the NCAA Tournament ended Friday night as the University of Texas at Tyler got an overtime tally from Elijah Shipman in a 2-1 decision in action from Farquhar Field at University of Redlands.
The WildCats end the season with a program record 18 wins, falling in only six contests. Randolph also won its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) title, had a Player of the Year in sophomore Corey Sindle (Gloucester, VA/Gloucester) and also had head coach Bryan Waggoner tabbed as the Coach of the Year in the ODAC.
The game, which was extremely physical over the first 25 minutes, as both teams had opportunities early. Texas-Tyler (18-2-2) was getting pressure but no good shots as the back line of Randolph was quick to clear anything dangerous.
The WildCats took the game's first lead on a set piece, this time on a corner kick, its only corner of the game. Sophomore Nick Cornell (Front Royal, VA/Warren Co.) lofted a ball to the back post, where Will Wolf (Goldsboro, NC/Cardinal Gibbons) headed it off the goalie and to the foot of junior Tyler Gilchrist (Bedford, VA/Liberty) who tapped it in for the 1-0 lead.
After the intermission, UTT scored the equalizer just under 10 minutes into the second half as Victor Almendariz left-footed a shot into the right netting off an Elijah Shipman pass. With 13 minutes left, the Patriots were awarded a penalty kick but sophomore keeper Carter Smith (Greensboro, NC/Grimsley) made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
In the waning moments of the second half, Sindle played a ball for a charging Fiifi Atta-Otoo (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac) who was in on goal alone. A Patriot defender grabbed the jersey of Atta-Otoo in the box and pulled him back, allowing a second defender to knock the ball out-of-bounds. The linesman raised his flag for a foul but the middle official called nothing and the play went for naught.
That set up overtime, where Elijah Shipman corralled a rebound off an Alonso Rivera shot and buried it passed a diving Smith to put the Patriots in the sectional final. Randolph was outshot 20-10, but Smith made seven saves to keep the game tight.
The WildCats will return to Randolph College Saturday afternoon after finishing a season that saw so many firsts and records for the program.