Men's Soccer NCAA OT Thriller Ends With Stanford Advancing On PKs

Men's Soccer NCAA OT Thriller Ends With Stanford Advancing On PKs

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Pacific men's soccer team was elininated from the NCAA Tournament Sunday after a double-overtime thriller at No. 3 Stanford. The Cardinal advance on penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw. Curtis Goldsmith posted a career-high eight saves for the Tigers.

The Tigers and Cardinal battled for 110 minutes of high-energy soccer with ample scoring chances. But after neither team could hit the back of the net, the game ended in penalty kicks with Stanford prevailing 4-1.

Stanford scored on all four penalty kicks, starting first with Logan Panchot finishing. Wouter Verstraaten shot first for Pacific and hit the underside of the crossbar, only to see it bounce down on the wrong side of the line. After Adam Mosharrafa gave Stanford a 2-0 lead, Cardinal goalie Nico Corti made a save on Camden Riley's attempt. Corey Baird put the Cardinal up 3-0 and Tristan Blackmon buried his shot to keep the Tigers alive, but Tanner Beason converted to send the Cardinal on to a third round matchup with Coastal Carolina.

The penalty kick result was not a befitting way to end a free-flowing match between the two highly talented sides that elicited a series of outbursts from the heavily Pacific leaning crowd of 1,405 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

Stanford controlled play early, looking dangerous and generating a pair of chances as Drew Skundrich missed wide right and Tomas Hilliard-Arce's shot was saved by Curtis Goldsmith.

Pacific turned the momentum midway through the half, as Johnatan Rico-Contreres ripped a shot that was tapped over the bar by Stanford keeper Nico Corti in the 26th minute.

In the 29th minute, Bob Groenendijk deked around two defenders and sent a cross into the box for Tariq Branche, but it was just out of reach of his foot and was cleared out of bounds for a Tiger corner kick.

Minutes later, Anthony Orendain blasted a shot towards the right post the was saved for another corner, but the game remained scoreless through the first half.

In the second, Groenendijk smothered a Stanford chance in the box in the 50th minute. The Tigers had a run in the 60th, with the program's all-time leading scorer Tristan Blackmon entering the box and getting dragged down but no penalty kick was awarded and the game remained scoreless.

Rico-Contreres broke free toward the box in the 65th minute, but his shot was blocked by a defender. Minutes later, Rico-Contreres then headed a corner kick off the left post in the 69th minute. The Tigers had another chance as Groenendijk ripped a shot just high in the 75th minute, but the Tigers still couldn't break through.

Stanford threatened late as Goldsmith had to dive to save a shot from the wing with 6:20 to go. A minute later, Goldsmith made another save and then the Tigers defense had to scramble to recover, but ultimately regained their shape and forced Foster Langsford's shot wide right.

In transition, Camden Riley launched a cross to the far post for Orendain in the 87th minute that floated just over his head.

The Tigers had a pair of crosses from side to side but couldn't connect in the waning seconds, with Collin Bettencourt making a desperation bicycle kick attempt as the horn sounded to end regulation.

In the first minute of overtime, Groenendijk blasted a shot into the defender from just outside the box, got his rebound and tried again, but again it was blocked by the Stanford defense.

In the second overtime, the Tigers drew a free kick on a run from Spencer Vue, followed by Andres Ochoa sending a cross in for Blackmon, who headed it over the bar in the 102nd minute.

In the 105th minute, Langsdorf was wide open on the right post and slotted a pass back through the box untouched. Langsdorf made a run seconds later, but Goldsmith met the ball at his feet to clear it out of harms way.

The Tigers withstood a flurry of shots in front in the 108th minute, with Skundrich and Langsdorf each blasting shots from point blank range. Verstraaten kept the Tigers alive, knocking away Langsdorf's shot on the line while falling backward and eventually the ball popped over the net as Pacific re-organized and cleared to midfield for the final minute.

Pacific ends the 2017 season at 13-4-2, falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. Stanford improves to 15-2-2 and will face the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina, who upset No. 8 Clemson on Sunday.