ASU men's soccer team falls to Wofford
by Staff Reports
CARY — No. 7 seed Wofford and No. 6 seed Appalachian State played to a 1-1 draw after two scoreless overtime periods in the second semifinal of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Thursday at WakeMed Soccer Park, but the Terriers won the penalty kick phase 4-2, with keeper Andrew Drennan stopping a pair, to send Wofford to Saturday’s title match.
Wofford (10-8-2) advanced to face top-seeded Elon on Saturday in a contest that will be broadcast on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. The contest will be a rematch of the 2009 final, which saw the Terriers won 2-1 over Elon for its first league tournament title. Elon will be attempting to defend its 2011 title.
Drennan came up with two huge stops for Wofford in the shootout, while Ellis Vienne put away the winner on the Terriers’ fifth attempt.
It was Appalachian State (8-7-4) that seized momentum early in the penalty kick phase, with keeper Danny Free stopping the attempt of Alex Hutchins – who had been 5-for-5 on penalties this season until that point – to give the Mountaineers the early advantage.
Appalachian State’s Kristian Lee-Him put away his first attempt, but Wofford’s Nestor Jaramillo countered with a make of his own despite Free getting both hands on it. Stanley Broaden put his away into the lower left corner to put the Mountaineers ahead 2-1, but the Terriers’ Connor Davis scored his attempt to knot things back up at 2-2.
Drennan then came up with the first of his two PK saves, diving to his left to knock down Lee Williams’ attempt. After Forrest Lasso converted his to put the Terriers ahead for the first time in the shootout, Drennan saved his second shot in a row, diving to his right to stifle Ryan Lavigne’s attempt.
Vienne then stepped to the spot and buried his into the lower left corner to send the Terriers into Saturday’s title match.
The shootout served as an exciting finish after a frantic second half and overtime.
The Terriers scored first in regulation in the 56th minute, with Hutchins notching his 13th goal of the season. Dennis Moore slipped a through ball to Ryan Hurst on the left side of the box and Hurst drew the defense and keeper over to his side of the field. Hurst then fed the ball back into box, where Hutchins ran onto it and knocked it home in traffic.
Appalachian State answered quickly, getting the equalizer just 1:02 later. Walker White sent a cross into the box from the right wing, and Boubacar Toure executed a perfect scissor kick to put it away just inside the left post.
The Mountaineers ramped up the pressure after that, getting several good chances the rest of the way.
In the 60th minute, Harrison Delbridge took a header off a corner that was knocked down by a Wofford defender. Williams then fired a shot that Wofford’s Lasso blocked.
Moments later, Wofford’s Davis headed a Jaramillo corner on frame that Free saved.
Appalachian State’s Broaden sent a cross in from right wing that Mason McCarter put on frame, but Wofford’s Blaire Gaines cleared it from the line.
The Mountaineers’ Josiah Trowers got loose on breakaway in 76th minute, but Drennan came off line and made the save in space.
Drennan got just enough of the ball and Toure on Toure’s breakaway in the first overtime period to keep the game tied, while Free made a nice stop on the near post on Jaramillo’s free kick with a 1:26 left in the first extra period.
Hutchins had the best chance of the second overtime period, with Hutchins getting a loose ball at his feet with no one around him. His shot was high and wide, however, and the game went to the shootout.
Drennan finished with six saves in the win, while Free had three stops.