Immediate Release: November 15, 2003
Contact: Name David Berman (email@example.com)
Bearcats capture America East Championship on 3-2 edge in penalty kicks
VESTAL, N.Y.--Junior forward Stephen Bruce (Buckie, Scotland) fired the decisive penalty kick into the net four feet from the left crossbar and Binghamton (11-2-7) advanced with a 3-2 edge in penalty kicks over Northeastern (10-7-4) in the America East Championship Game on Saturday afternoon at West Gym Field. The two teams were tied 1-1 after regulation and the game went to penalty kicks after two scoreless overtime periods.
Bruce, who was the fourth kicker for Binghamton, broke a 2-2 tie with his goal. Bearcat goalkeeper Stefan Gonet (Refrewshire, Scotland), who was later named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, then saved the Huskies next shot. The Bearcats had a chance to end the game with their fifth and final kick, but Huskies keeper Sergio Saccoccio deflected the ball over the top of the net. That gave Northeastern a final shot, but the potential tying kick banged off the crossbar five feet from the top of the net.
In regulation, the Bearcats seized a 1-0 advantage midway through the second half when junior midfielder Charles Darkwah (Toronto, Ontario) took control of the ball in front of the net and fired a shot into the right corner of the net in the 59th minute. In the 72nd minute, it looked as if the Bearcats would extend their lead, but instead had a goal taken back as a result of an offsides violation.
The Huskies tied the game in the 81st minute on an unassisted goal by Tom Heimreid. After a corner kick by Atha Kirkopoulos, Heimreid fired a hard shot that was saved by Gonet. However, Heimreid seized the rebound and found the net with his second try. The goal ended Gonet's incredible streak of shutouts. The sophomore keeper, who ranks second in the entire nation in goals against average, had not allowed a goal since October 8 against UMBC, a span of nearly 894 minutes.
The game was evenly played throughout, with the Bearcats holding an 11-8 advantage in shots. Gonet made four saves, while Saccoccio had five.
Gonet was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore back Graham Munro (Inverness, Scotland), senior back Pat Skinner (Conklin, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley) and sophomore midfielder Danilo (Sao Paulo). The rest of the all-tournament team was Oumar Thiam, Atha Kirkopoulos and Saccoccio from Northeastern, as well as Eitan Arbel and Ryan Carr of Hartford and Derek McGelligott and Marcus Gross of UMBC.
The pairings for the 48-team NCAA Championship will be announced Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. on ESPNews.
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