Kansas City, Mo. – The old adage of defense wins championship still stands true, but in the end a lack of scoring from Lynn University's men's soccer team held the squad back. The Fighting Knights held Charleston (W.Va.) scoreless through 110 minutes but lost 3-1 in penalty kicks to finish as the 2017 NCAA Division II national runner-up.
This is the second NCAA national runner-up finish under head coach John Rootes and the third in program history. Lynn had won national titles in 2014, 2012 and 2003 and adds this runner-up finish to 2011 and 1997. The Blue and White also finished as NAIA national runners-up in 1993, 1992, 1990 and 1989.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Score: Charleston 0, Lynn 0 (UC wins 3-1 in PKs)
Records: Charleston (22-1-2), Lynn (14-4-3)
Location: Swopes Soccer Village | Kansas City, Mo.
All-time record: Lynn leads 3-1 all-time (last met in 2014 national championship)
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STATS OF THE GAME:
- Charleston led Lynn 12-6 in total shots and 2-0 in corner kicks.
- Alexander Roth logged four saves and Paulo Pita recorded three stops.
- Pita's biggest save came midway in the second half in a one-v-one situation with Alun Webb.
- Roth made two big saves for the Blue and White, turning away two attempts within the 18-yard box.
- Niklas Tasky led off penalty kicks with a goal while Charleston followed with a score.
- Pita made back-to-back saves on Sebastian Radakovics and Gustavo Bergmann while Roth guess correctly but missed on two attempts as Charleston went ahead 3-1. A final miss by Simon Kraemer secured the Golden Eagles victory.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Three members of the team received NCAA All-Tournament recognition: Max Herbert, Niklas Tasky and Alun Webb.
- Lynn's 14 shutouts are the most under head coach John Rootes and the fourth-most in program history.
- Lynn was held scoreless over the final 278 minutes but ended the year holding opponents scoreless over 229 minutes.
- Roth ends his career with 22 career shutouts, top-five in program history.
- His 0.61 goals-against average and .809 save percentage also rank among the leaders in school history.
Lynn ends the season 14-4-3 but has optimism about 2018, returning nine starters, including All-American Niklas Tasky and the entire back five defense. Fans can read more about the men's soccer program at LynnFightingKnights.com.