WESTBOUND: Top-Ranked Men's Soccer Advances to NCAA Final Four with 1-0 Quarterfinal Victory Over No.2 Charleston
RINDGE. N.H. (11/19/22) – The top-ranked Franklin Pierce University men's soccer set the seal on their regional competition, booking their trip to the 2022 NCAA Division II Final Four following its 1-0 quarterfinal victory over second-ranked University of Charleston on a brisk Saturday evening at Sodexo Field. For the Ravens, it is their first trip to the NCAA Final Four since the 2011 campaign.
The Ravens advance with a 23-0-1 overall record following the triumph, while the Golden Eagles concluded their season at 20-2-0 overall.
The 2022 NCAA Division II Final Four will be held on Dec. 1st through the 3rd at Interbay Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The stage is now set as Franklin Pierce will take on Lake Erie College of Plainsville, Ohio in the semifinal round on Thursday, Dec. 1. Full coverage of the championship festival can be viewed live online at www.ncaa.com(.)
The only goal of the contest came in the first half, and belonged to graduate midfielder Miguel Secades Rodrigues (Langreo, Spain) in the 28th minute. The goal came as the result of an initial shot by junior Vicente Valor Martinez (San Juan, Spain), which was too hot to handle for the Charleston goalkeeper as Secades Rodrigues cleaned thing up on the rebound. Sophomore Braudilio Rodrigues (Lisbon, Portugal) was additionally credited with an assist, as Secades Rodrigues his sixth goal of the season.
The second half presented a fierce defensive battle between the two squads, as the Ravens found themselves outshot by an opponent in a single half for the first time this season. The Golden Eagles would carry a 8-6 shots advantage through the second half, nearly tying the contest on a shot just over the crossbar in the 87th minute. However, the Raven lead would hold throughout the entirety of the half, sending them to Seattle with the one-goal victory.
The match featured physical elements as well, with both teams finishing with a handful of yellow cards. Through 90 minutes, the Golden Eagles collected a total four yellow cards, with the Ravens collecting six. Each team was also assessed a bench card.
Senior goalkeeper Javier Torres (Asturias, Spain) claimed his second win of the Ravens postseason, turning away all three shots faced for his fifth shut out of the season. Charleston netminder Marc Torrado faced seven shots on goal, and made six saves in the loss.
Franklin Pierce, in its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, has extended its all-time record in NCAA post-season play to 23-20-5. Since 2005, Franklin Pierce is an amazing 19-10-4 in NCAA Tournament play. Additionally, it is the fifth appearance for men's soccer in the NCAA DII Final Four.
To keep up with Franklin Pierce men's soccer, along with all the latest updates on the team's journey to Seattle for the Final Four, be sure to visit the individual team page at fpuravens.com(.)