Marlins, No. 1 CNU battle to overtime tie
VIRGINIA BEACH -- One question is sure to linger on about Sunday's 2-2 double overtime tie in men's soccer between No. 1 ranked Christopher Newport University and host Virginia Wesleyan College.
And it's a big one...did CNU's game-tying goal in the second half actually beat the final 0:00 on the scoreboard clock on Foster Field at the Trinder Center?
Obviously fans for both sides will disagree, but game officials let a kick by David Haas (Newport News, Va./Menchville) stand for the top-ranked Captains, who averted their second loss in three outings. It was a stunning turn of events for the Marlins (7-4-4), who cleared out in front of the goal thinking the clock had expired, just as Haas' shot rolled in.
Either way, the teams continued to battle, playing through a pair of overtimes. Both teams produced four shots in the extra periods, three by VWC in the first session, three by CNU in the second. Virginia Wesleyan rookie goalie Alan Hinton (Bristow, Va./Haymarket Battlefield)produced a pair of standout stops in the extra play, taking the ball away from Caleb Lewis (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) with 2:43 remaining in the first overtime and again robbing Brian Lybert (Honolulu, Hawaii/Woodbridge, Va.) with 4:37 in the second.
CNU took the early lead in the non-conference battle when Clif Kipper (Hayes, Va./Gloucester) knocked the ball in from 10 yards out on the right, completing a pass from Winston Mattheison (Norfolk, Va./Jamestown). The Captains held the upper-hand through the first 20 minutes of the half, but once Virginia Wesleyan found its offensive rhythm, the host Marlins started to steer.
The Marlins combined a take-away defense, sparked by senior Trae Pinto (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur) and rookie Chris Luce (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar F. Smith), with a stepped-up offensive game led by juniorJosh Christian (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and rookies Jared Windt (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) and Ricardo Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch).
That effort paid off in the 44th minute when rookie Chase Ebel (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park)headed the ball into the left side off a corner kick by Windt.
The teams entered halftime in a 1-all deadlock and returned to Foster Field with Virginia Wesleyan taking command. Junior John McKenzie (Virginia Beach/Landstown), sophomore Roberto Maldonado (Eastville, Va./Northampton) and rookies Jordan Elgin (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), Tyler Bush (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), Pops Richards (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) and Brian Cornell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) were among the Marlins who helped VWC control tempo throughout the second half.
An aggressive VWC offense hit early and caught the Captains on their heels several times, including a play that led to the Marlins' go-ahead goal. As VWC rolled into the box for a shot, a CNU defender was called for a foul in the box, giving the Marlins a penalty kick. Cornell took the big shot for the Marlins and saw the ball ricochet into the net in the 47th minute after CNU goalie Justin Wolfe (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) hit the ball into the crossbar.
From that point on, the Marlins disrupted the CNU game to the final seconds, before Haas' trickler produced the controversial finish in regulation time.
The intense competition produced a total of 27 and 12 cards, including one red on a CNU player. The Captains finished with a 23-17 edge in shots and VWC held a 7-6 advantage in corner kicks. Hinton finished with seven saves for the Marlins and Wolfe had five for CNU.
VWC, which has lost only once in its last nine games, plays again on Wednesday, Oct. 20, hosting Randolph College's WildCats in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game beginning at 7 p.m. at the Trinder Center.