The Emory University Men's Soccer team battled University Athletic Association rival University of Chicago for 110 minutes Saturday night but it was not enough in the end as the NCAA Division III Sectional Final was decided on penalty kicks at Stagg Field in Chicago, Illinois.
Emory and Chicago played to a 1-1 tie through 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute sudden victory overtime periods before heading to a shootout with a bid to the NCAA Final Four on the line. The Maroons went a perfect 5-for-5 in the shootout, advancing to Greensboro for the semifinals for the second time in their program's history.
Penalty kicks began with Chicago's Andre Abedian and senior Jason McCartney trading successful attempts. In the second round, UC's Max Lopez went left past sophomore Trevor Stormes while Aaron Katsimpalis guessed correctly against junior Moustafa Khattab, giving Chicago a 2-1 advantage. The Maroons' Stacy Reimann made it 3-1 in the third round but senior Michael Carragher answered to keep the Eagles' hopes alive. After Matthew Koh gave Chicago another good kick, junior Tyler Santee stepped up to the penalty spot needing to convert. Santee converted with a gutsy shot into the upper right corner, giving one last chance to the Eagles.
With the score 4-3 in favor of the Maroons, Dayo Adeosun made his way to the ball with an opportunity to send Chicago onto the Final Four. Adeosun went left, as did Stormes, but the Emory goalkeeper was not able to make a play on the shot as it was too far to his right.
The shootout capped off an electric night of soccer in the Windy City with Chicago living up to its' historic nickname. Both programs endured mid-30 temperatures with wind gusts ranging from 20 to 25 miles per hour. The Maroons outshot the Eagles 13-5 including a 7-3 margin in shots on net and Emory earning seven corner kicks compared to UC's two.
Chicago headed into halftime in front 1-0 as the Maroons cashed in on an early goal by Lopez in the 10th minute of play. Scott Lich sent a ball into the six-yard box where Lopez headed in the feed from point blank range.
The Maroons might have had a larger lead at the break if it were not for the efforts of freshman Cole Gallagher. The rookie goalkeeper made five saves total in the opening 45 minutes including several highlight reel stops to keep the damage to a minimum.
Emory did not trail for long as the teams returned to action in the second half as Carragher found the equalizer in the 48th minute. Senior Adam Ferguson sent a corner kick into the box where Carragher headed it into the back of the net.
Carragher nearly gave Emory the lead in the 55th minute as senior Christian Meyer fed a cross to Carragher inside the 18. Carragher got his left foot on the pass, sending a shot just wide of the left post.
In the 62nd minute, the Maroons had their first threat of the second half as Abedian sent a header on goal but drilled the crossbar before Emory cleared out the rebound.
Three minutes later, junior Aidan Datené got around a couple Chicago defenders before firing off a left footed shot from close range but UC's Hill Bonin made the save from his knees.
In the 69th minute, Chicago had the last close scoring opportunity for both sides as Lopez slipped behind the Emory wall on a UC free kick from just outside the 18. The free kick hit the shoulder of an Eagle defender before going to Lopez who headed it in. However, the goal was disallowed on an foul call by the side referee. Chicago had another goal wiped off the scoreboard earlier in the contest in the 33rd minute as Lopez was called for offsides.
Emory and Chicago played conservatively during the extra sessions with both teams recording one scoring chance apiece.
In the first overtime, the Maroons had a flurry in front of the goal after a corner kick. A Koh shot was blocked before Reimann sent one on target but was saved by Gallagher.
In the second overtime, Datené supplied a cross to the middle of the six. Sophomore William Jones had a great sliding attempt at it on the goal line but the pass was just out of his reach.
The Maroons will carry a 19-2-1 record into the next round while the Eagles close out their tremendous season with a 15-5-2 overall mark.