Nov. 8, 2008
WASHINGTON - Luis Martinez scored the game-winning goal in the 103rd minute to lead the American University men's soccer team to a 3-2 double overtime win against Bucknell on Saturday at Reeves Field. The win gives the Eagles at least a share of the Patriot League Regular Season Title, pending the outcome in the Lehigh/Colgate match and knocks the Bison out of playoff contention.
In an emotionally, intense game that had American's right to host the post-season tournament and Bucknell's playoff chances on the line, neither side was able to get on the board in the first 45 minutes of play. It didn't take long in the second half for the Eagles to score, as Colin Zizzi, who served as a playmaker in the AU midfield all day, slipped a ball down the right flank to Tremaine Chinapoo. Chinapoo sent a perfect cross to the far post to a waiting Jamie Davin. Davin made no mistake with the opportunity and buried the shot for his first goal of the season at 47:50. Bucknell answered with a goal of its own just 2:22 later when Anthony Ferraro was able to corral a ball in the box that was mishandled by AU keeper Matt Makowski to knot the score at 1-1.
Nick Kapus gave the Eagles the go-ahead goal at 60:25, when Karsten Smith sent a ball through the box that Kapus was able to run down, eluding Bison goalie Will Byrne for the score. Once again, Bucknell responed, this time just a minute and five seconds later on Ferraro's second goal of the day.
The pressure for a result came to a culmination in the 75th minute, when the ref had to stop play for the second time in the match and issued a pair of red cards to AU's Kapus and Bucknell's Mark Schmiegel, two of eight cards issued on the day. Solid goalkeeping down the stretch from both sides kept the game tied at two, forcing overtime. The first overtime ended without a goal, setting the stage for the Martinez game-winner 3:38 into the second stanza. Just moments after an AU goal was called off, Cameron Petty found Martinez who finished a shot from 10 yards out to end the game.
"I'm thrilled for our guys to get this win and be regular season champion," said AU head coach Todd West. "We'll see how it plays out tonight in the Colgate/Lehigh game, but we did our part and scored three great goals and created numerous opportunities. I hope we can carry this momentum on for Friday's semifinal." The Eagles ended up with an 18-13 advantage in shots, including a 4-1 deficit in overtime. Matt Makowski had seven saves in the win, while Byrne finished with six saves for the Bison.
The Eagles have clinched a berth in the Patriot League Semifinal and could be the No. 1 seed with a Lehigh win or tie Saturday at Colgate. The final pairings will be set at the conclusion of that contest, which kicks off at 7 p.m.