W&M Tops UNCW 6-3 In CAA Men's Soccer Semifinals
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (November 14, 2013) – In the highest scoring game in the history of the CAA Men’s Soccer Championship, third-seeded William & Mary defeated #2 UNCW 6-3 in the first semifinal contest of the 2013 tournament Thursday evening at Drexel’s Vidas Field.
The Tribe (11-4-2) advances to Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game against the winner of tonight’s second semifinal between #1 Drexel and #4 Delaware. UNCW had its four-game unbeaten streak snapped and fell to 9-6-2 with the loss.
The previous record for combined goals in a CAA Men’s Soccer Championship game was eight, which had happened three previous times.
Senior midfielder Chris Perez tallied the game-winning goal and had two assists for W&M, while sophomore Jackson Eskay scored twice. UNCW got a pair of goals from junior Mateo Cardona.
The match got off to a fast start with W&M getting on the board just 2:18 into the contest. Perez controlled the rebound of his own shot and sent another attempt into the middle of the box. Freshman Reilly Maw was able to redirect the ball with a header that went just inside the right post from 10 yards out for his first career goal.
UNCW responded with the equalizer in the 11th minute. Senior midfielder David Sizemore lofted a beautiful 20-yard crossing pass from the right side to Cardona, who was open on the left side of the box. He faked a defender and then fired a shot into the right side of the next from 10 yards out.
The Tribe moved on top 2-1 in the 23rd minute. Perez sent a 20-yard pass to Eskay at the top of the box. The sophomore made one touch and then slid a shot into the right side of the net.
The second half got off to an equally fast start with both teams scoring twice in the first 15 minutes of the period. Eskay struck first just 1:52 into the period as he worked a give-and-go with Maw and fired a 15-yard shot through the arms of UNCW keeper Sean Melvin to make it 3-1. The goal was Eskay’s seventh of the season.
The Seahawks answered 1:41 later as Cardona fired a perfectly-placed 20-yard free kick into the upper right corner to close the gap to 3-2. It was Cardona’s fourth goal of the year.
Perez connected on the eventual game-winner in the 59th minute. He created space by faking out a pair of defenders and then sent a 16-yard shot under the crossbar to make it 4-2.
UNCW bounced back quickly again, closing to within 4-3 in the 60th minute. Nathaniel Goodwin pushed a pass back to Jamie Dell at the top of the box. The junior took a couple of dribbles in and placed a shot under the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season.
W&M tacked on an insurance goal with 12:55 to play. Marcus Luster made a run along the endline to the right before sending a crossing pass to the middle. Junior Chris Albiston came charging into the box and connected on a diving header that went inside the right post for his fifth goal of the year.
The Tribe’s Ben Coffey closed the scoring with 4:05 to play when he collected a loose ball in the box and sent a 12-yard shot off the right post and into the net.
W&M will be making its first appearance in the CAA championship game since winning the title in 2010.