CHAMPIONS: Monarchs Win CAA Men's Soccer Crown
Nov. 18, 2007
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- After 110 minutes of pulling, grabbing and tugging for momentum, the Towson Tigers and ODU Monarchs found themselves in a penalty kick shootout. The 0-0 stalemate set up a dramatic finish in which ODU would claim its first CAA Title since 1991, the first year in the league. The hometown second team All-CAA goalkeeper Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.) would knock home his kick and also made a diving save in the PK's setting up the game-winner off the foot of junior Trevor Banks (Madison, Wisc.). Senior midfielder A.J. Kulp (Ephrata, Pa.) was named CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Performer and will head to his fourth straight NCAA Tournament. In all, it will be ODU's sixth straight appearance in the national tournament.
"I think the better team prevailed. I don't want to take away from Towson, they were a very difficult team, a very good team," said head coach Alan Dawson. "But I think we deserved this. I know we deserved it. We've got terrific team chemistry and our guys deserved this. I'm just so proud of our guys."
Both teams struggled to get offensive opportunities in regulation, but ODU seemed to control the game from the opening kick. ODU outshot the Tigers 19-5 in regulation and the Monarch defense only allowed one shot on goal the entire game, which came off of a free kick from about 20 yards out.
The Monarchs outshot the Tigers 23-8 overall and had a 13-2 decided advantage in corner kicks.
The back and forth game featured the CAA Player of the Year in Towson's Pat Healy and the CAA Defender of the Year in ODU's David Horst (Pine Grove, Pa.) as well as the top two goalkeepers as decided by the league's coaches. The first team All-CAA goalkeeper was Towson's Billy Chiles and the second team All-CAA goalkeeper in ODU's Evan Newton. With the league's top two GK's in the game, it was fitting it would end in a shootout.
In the shootout, ODU opened by letting Newton take a shot on Chiles. The Towson keeper guessed wrong and Newton put ODU quickly ahead 1-0. Towson's first shooter, Matt Beckman, would shoot a laser off the crossbar. His effort would be mirrored by Horst, as ODU's top defender laced a shot off the crossbar as well. Towson would then tie the shootout at 1-1 off the foot of Nino Mangione, as his shot was placed perfectly into the upper right corner, just out of the reach of Newton.
Stig Haddal (Skien, Norway) would step in to start the third round of shots and nailed his to the left side to give ODU the 2-1 advantage. The key shot would then come as Towson's third leading scorer Cesar Cisneros would try to score on Newton. The sophomore keeper dove to his right and missed on the first effort, but the shot was finessed, giving Newton a second opportunity to make the save. The save gave ODU a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth kick.
ODU's Nane Joseph (Yaounde, Cameroon) would give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead in the shootout forcing Towson to make both of its remaining shots, or ODU could win with one more make. CAA Player of the Year Pat Healy would force a fifth shot for ODU as he converted his shot, bringing up Trevor Banks. With the Monarchs up 3-2, Banks stepped up and knocked his shot by the diving Chiles to give ODU its second ever CAA Championship in a 4-2 shootout victory.
The Monarchs All-Tournament team selections were seniors David Horst, Yomby William and A.J. Kulp, as well as sophomore keeper Evan Newton. Kulp earned the Most Outstanding Player award after scoring one goal on 10 shots in the tournament, five on-goal.
ODU will await the selection show on ESPNews Monday night at 5:30 pm to find out when and where their first game of the NCAA postseason will be. The first round games are scheduled for either Friday or Saturday of this week.
TOW 0-0-0-0=0 ODU 0-0-0-0=0 SHOOTOUT RESULTS: Towson: 5/N, 18/Y, 8/N, 9/Y ODU: 1/Y, 12/N, 3/Y, 7/Y, 20/Y Old Dominion wins shootout 4-2