ONEONTA, N.Y. – Junior Chris Lockwood (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored his fifth goal of the season, but it wasn't enough, as Rochester rallied to triumph over the Connecticut College men's soccer team by a 2-1 score in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on a cold Saturday afternoon at SUNY Oneonta's Red Dragon Field.
Both teams had chances to find the back of the net during a scoreless first half. Connecticut College got its best opportunity in the 24th minute when junior captain Ben Manoogian (Peabody, Mass.) unleashed a shot from 25 yards away, but Yellowjacket goalkeeper Redd Brown made a diving save to keep the match scoreless.
Rochester (12-3-3) nearly got on the board in the waning minutes of the opening half on a long ball sent in by Aleks Dombrowski. His shot, however, bounced off the crossbar and was successfully cleared away.
Lockwood nearly put the Camels on the board first on back-to-back shots, as he had an open look from the edge of the crease blocked by defender Nate Leopold at the right post as well as a rebound deflected away which gave his team a corner kick. After multiple near misses, Lockwood then capitalized on a set piece by heading home a corner taken by senior Graham Koval (Crested Butte, Colo.).
Rochester, however, would rally to score twice to win the match. Zach Lawlor first things up at 1-1 with just under 10 minutes to play in regulation by heading in a long throw by Bryce Ikeda. The Camels had several chances to put the match away shortly before the teams would have to settle the score in overtime, but three consecutive shots by Lockwood, freshman Liam Noonan (Calabasas, Calif.) and classmate Justin Miranda (Winchester, Mass.) were all saved by Brown.
The Yellowjackets then used the momentum to find the back of the net just 2:26 into the extra frame, as Josh Cooley finished a pass from Cristian Baltier to give his team the sudden victory.
Brown picked up the victory between the pipes by turning away five shots for Rochester, which advanced to face host SUNY Oneonta in the tournament's second round tomorrow afternoon. Freshman A.J. Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.) made two stops in the setback for the Camels.
Connecticut College (9-4-4) completed a breakthrough season, as the program made its second NCAA Tournament appearance overall and first since the 1995 squad put together a 10-5 campaign 22 years ago. The team graduates three seniors - Brooks Clark (Boxford, Mass.), Nate Summers (Westfield, Mass.), and Koval – who helped the Camels win 36 matches over the last four seasons and is slated to return more than 20 letterwinners next year.