Mason Defeats UNCW on Penalty Kicks in CAA Quarterfinal
Nov. 11, 2003
FAIRFAX, VA ... On Veteran's Day, a Patriot veteran came through as junior goalkeeper John O'Hara stopped UNC Wilmington's fifth penalty kick to allow third-seeded George Mason to advance, 5-4, after playing to a 2-2 tie in double overtime with the No. 6 Seahawks in a Colonial Athletic Association Men's Soccer Championship quarterfinal match Tuesday night at George Mason Stadium.
George Mason improved to 10-5-6, setting a school record for ties in a season, and advances to the CAA Championship semifinals to face No. 2 seed Old Dominion (14-2-1) Friday at 8 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond. UNC Wilmington's season came to an end as it finished at 10-7-3.
Fourth-seeded James Madison (11-6-2), which defeated No. 5 William & Mary, 2-0, in their quarterfinal game Tuesday, will meet top-seeded and tournament host Virginia Commonwealth (14-4), in the other semifinal at 5:30 p.m. The championship game is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Both George Mason (2-0-6 in overtime this season, 15-6-19 over the last nine seasons) and UNC Wilmington (1-2-2 in overtime this season, including a 2-1 loss to Mason on Oct. 17) scored on each of its first four penalty kicks in the tie-breaker session, with sophomore Steve Alabi, sophomore Neema Doroudian, freshman Chris Mills and junior Matt Mendy converting for the Patriots while senior Ray Soporowski, senior Adam Stauffer, junior Keith Shevlin and freshman Juho Karjalainen scored for the Seahawks. Sophomore Damian O'Rourke scored just inside the left post to give Mason a 5-4 advantage before Seahawk senior Jason Small, who had not played in the 110 minutes of game action, stepped to the spot and had his shot to the right of center stopped by O'Hara.
Alabi gave George Mason an early 1-0 lead as he took a pass from Doroudian at the top of the penalty area and drilled a 15-yard shot into the net at 5:50. Shevlin would get the equalizer for UNC Wilmington, however, at 23:07 as he took passes from sophomore Daniel Butner and freshman Russell Bienias and scored his fourth goal from four yards out.
The Patriots and Seahawks exchanged penalty kicks midway through the second half to bring the score to 2-2. Alabi was taken down in the penalty area at 62:01 and converted his fifth penalty kick of the year for his 12th goal and his third multi-goal game of the season (fifth of his career). But less than two minutes later, Shevlin was taken down at the other end of the field and Karjalainen stepped forward to bury the penalty kick at 63:52 for his second goal of the year.
O'Hara had four saves for the Patriots, while freshman Brad Knighton had four saves for the Seahawks. George Mason held an 18-9 advantage in shots.