Overtime Goal by Schmiegel Advances Bucknell Men's Soccer to NCAA Second Round
Nov. 11, 2006
FAIRFAX, Va. - Mark Schmiegel's (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) shot from the left wing just over five minutes into overtime deflected off Michael Vallie and into an empty net to give the Bucknell men's soccer team a 1-0 win over George Mason, its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1974, on a sun-splashed field at George Mason Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Bison, who were making their first NCAA appearance since 1976, will move on to the second round and face No. 4 Virginia Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va.
Schmiegel took a pass from Justin Wolf (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) deep in the left corner, causing George Mason goalie Sean Kelley to shift. Schmiegel dribbled out of the corner slightly and lofted a shot from 12 yards out over Kelley's head. Vallie tried to head the ball away, but it instead deflected off him and into the empty net just five minutes, 16 seconds into the first overtime period.
"I am so proud of our effort," beamed eighth-year Bucknell head coach Brendan Nash. "We played a good team on a warm day and kept pushing until we were exhausted.
"I can't say I was surprised we won the game. Before overtime I told the team to leave it all on the field and work as hard as possible and that is what they did."
The match was evenly played throughout and it appeared both team would be facing their third consecutive contest ending in a penalty kick shootout.
Although evenly played, George Mason held the edge in most statistical categories, outshooting the Bison 24-19 and winning the corner kick battle 7-3. Kelley recorded eight saves in the losing effort, while Joey Kuterbach (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) tallied his eighth shutout of the year for Bucknell as he saved seven shots. The Patriot League Tournament MVP, Kuterbach has not allowed a goal in 278:50.
With a combined 43 shots in the match, both teams had their chances to score throughout, but couldn't connect. Anthony Ferraro (West Long Branch, N.J./Shore Regional) actually nearly put Bucknell up 1-0 less than four minutes from the opening kickoff. Ferraro beat Kelley to a loose ball and found an empty net ahead of him, but three George Mason defenders slid in front of his shot to knock it away.
With 26 minutes left in the second half Wolf took a pass from Dirk Swaneveld (Blairstown, N.J./North Warren) and eluded a defender to set up a one-on-one situation with Kelley, but Kelley made a diving save that elicited a thunderous round of applause from the crowd of more than 1,000 fans.
The Patriots raised their level in the final minutes of play of each half as Vallie headed a ball toward the goal off a corner kick with under 10 seconds that settled into Kuterbach's hand, while Adam Lobene headed a ball past Kuterbach and into the head of Bucknell defender Andrew Loia (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) in the final minute of the second half.
Schmiegel's goal was the second of the year for the sophomore, while Wolf's assist tied him for second on the team with four.
The overtime victory was the first of the year for the Bison, who had been 0-0-6 when playing an overtime period.
Virginia, the fourth seed in the 48-team field and Bucknell's opponent Wednesday night, is 14-3-1 this year. The Bison improved to 9-7-6, while George Mason ended its season 12-6-3.