Stellar Defensive Effort Sends Men’s Soccer to National Title Match

Stellar Defensive Effort Sends Men’s Soccer to National Title Match

Kansas City, Mo. A 110 minute scoreless tie in the NCAA Division II National Semifinals was settled in penalty kicks with Lynn University's men's soccer team emerging as 3-0 winners over Rockhurst on Thursday evening.  Roth came away with one PK save and Simon Kraemer netted the game-winning goal to send the Fighting Knights to their fourth national title match since 2011. 

Lynn will square-off against Charleston (W.Va.) on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. ET in a rematch of the 2014 national championship game. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Score: Lynn 0, Rockhurst 0 – Lynn advances 3-0 on PKs
Records: Lynn (14-3-3), Rockhurst (16-2-3)
Location: Swope Soccer Village | Kansas City, Mo.
All-Time Record: Lynn leads 2-0-1 all-time (last met in 1994)
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HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Rockhurst had the first opportunity of the match in the 20th minute on a shot from Connor Mullen but Alexander Roth stretched out for the diving save.
  • Alun Webb responded with a shot of his own inside the 18-yard box but was turned away by Logan Feldman in the 21st minute.
  • The play of the game came in the middle of the second overtime as Mullen got off a shot inside the six-yard box but Gustavo Bergman held strong on the right post and kept the ball out of the goal.
  • Once in penalty kicks. Niklas Tasky put Lynn ahead 1-0 but Hawks All-American Adam Michel hit the left post.
  • A miss from Alun Webb gave Rockhurst hope but another miss, this time from Sal Caruso appeared to take the wind out of the Hawks sails.
  • Sebastian Radakovics nailed his attempt for the 2-0 advantage and Roth saved the next shot.
  • Kraemer stepped to the box and sent Lynn to the national championship with one swing of the leg.

STATS OF THE GAME:

  • Lynn and Rockhurst each tallied 11 shots and three corner kicks apiece.  Roth was credited with three saves compared to Feldman's two saves.
  • The match saw a combined 21 fouls and six yellow cards.

 BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:

  • Lynn has met Rockhurst three times in history but this is the first time in the NCAA. The Fighting Knights faced the Hawks twice in the NAIA playoffs.
  • Rockhurst has made the NCAA national semifinals four times in the last five years but has never advanced to the national championship.
  • Head coach John Rootes has won all four of his NCAA DII national semifinals matches since joining Lynn.
  • Lynn won NCAA national titles in 2014, 2012 and 2003 and NAIA championships in 1991 and 1987.
  • Saturday's championship will be a rematch from 2014 when the Fighting Knights defeated Charleston (W.Va.) 3-2.  Lynn is 3-0 all-time against Charleston.
  • If Lynn wins the national title with 15 victories, it will mark the fewest team victories by a national championship team since 1996 when Grand Canyon went 12-4-5 and would be the fourth-fewest wins ever by a national title squad in NCAA DII history.

UP NEXT:
Lynn faces Charleston on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. ET.  Fans can watch the match live at LynnFightingKnights.com.