Young Harris, Ga. – Trailing 1-0 with 42 minutes remaining in its season, Lynn University's third-ranked men's soccer team used a 30 minute lightning delay to regroup and collect itself before using a four-goal barrage in 14 minutes to pull out a 4-1 victory over No. 2 Young Harris in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Fighting Knights will be making their third NCAA national semifinals appearance in the last four seasons and seventh overall since 1996.
Lynn will face Quincy in the national semifinals in Louisville, Ky., on Thursday, December 4. Fans will be able to watch the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com. The other bracket pits top-ranked Charleston (W. Va.) against Colorado Mesa. The winners of each match will square off on Saturday, December 6. Times are to be determined.
Chris Hellmann added to his goal total with a pair of scores while Nicolas Mortensen added the game-winning goal with two assists. Freshman keeper Lucas Fancello turned away a career-best six shots and Lynn's top-notch defensive unit of Jason Sangha, Javier Mochon, James Casserly and Charlie Anderson held the top-goal scorer in the nation Ilija Ilic to just one shot attempt.
Despite owning possession from the opening whistle, the Blue & White (17-1-1) found themselves trailing 1-0 after nine minutes of action. A foul just outside the box gave Young Harris (19-1-1) a scoring opportunity, which it did not miss as Lewis Hilton buried his free kick inside the right post.
Lynn came out of the break focused but was forced sit for 30 minutes following a lightning delay. The Fighting Knights rallied around the leadership of senior captain Jason Sangha, Adam Hutchinson and seventh-year head coach John Rootes.
After the stoppage, a renewed team took the pitch and scored the equalizer behind the brilliance of Hellmann. Mortensen collected a pass near midfield and found his fellow striker streaking on a diagonal run. Hellmann picked up the ball, took one touch and ripped a shot from 12-yards out on the left side to knot the game 1-1.
Just one minute later the Fighting Knights took the lead and never looked back. High pressure on the Mountain Lions forced a bad pass from the keeper and Lukas Zlatarits pounced over the loose ball. A quick pass found Mortensen and the freshman forward beat keeper Jordan Bradshaw to the left post for his ninth goal of the season.
The scoring onslaught continued with the substitution of Simon Gubisch. Only a minute after entering the match, Gubsich beat his defender down the left wing and lofted the perfect cross towards the back post where Zlatarits sat patiently for the volleyed goal.
Again only a minute ticked off the scoreboard before National Player of the Year candidate Hellmann struck for the 24th time this season. Mortensen drew two defenders in with a run on goal and then tipped a pass forward as the duo bit on his move. Hellmann ran on to the pass and beat Bradshaw for his seventh multi-goal game of the year.
Hellmann heads to Louisville on an offensive tear the likes have never seen. He has recorded 15 straight games with at least one point and six consecutive with a goal. Additionally, the Cologne, Germany, product moved into fourth place in the school's illustrious history for points (59) and goals (24) in a season.
Fans can watch all of the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com and receive in-game updates by following @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.