|November 03, 2017||1st||2nd||1OT||2OT||3OT||Final|
|LIP||12:42||SAKOU, Ivan (ALVARADO, Ivan )|
|LIP||18:10||BIRCHFIELD, Ryan (ALVARADO, Ivan )|
|LIP||21:18||SAKOU, Ivan (SMITH, Kyle )|
|NJIT||32:47||JIMENEZ, Pablo (ZAPATA, Juan )|
|NJIT||86:20||CORDEIRO, Danny (JIMENEZ, Pablo , GUIRASSY, Mamadou)|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||NJIT|
|Shots (on Goal)||16 (9)||14 (6)|
Fort Myers, Fla. - An underdog story for the ages unfolded at the FGCU Soccer Complex on Friday night as backup keeper Luke Wilson, seeing the first action of his collegiate career, stopped all three NJIT shootout chances to advance to the Lipscomb men's soccer team to the ASUN Semifinals.
Wilson, a redshirt freshman, had not played a single minute since joining the Bisons before last season. After the First Round match between the Bisons and Highlanders ended in a 3-3 draw, head coach Charles Morrow called upon Wilson to be the keeper for the shootout instead of starting keeper Chris Zappia who has played every minute this season.
"Luke has absolutely proven in training that he is the guy for our PKs," Morrow said. "Chris did a phenomenal job supporting the decision. This decision was made days ago. Luke is a very capable goalkeeper. His head basically touches the crossbar and he's super athletic."
The 6'6" freshman made the most of his chance, saving the first and third penalty kicks while forcing the second one high.
"I just went in knowing that if I saved one, that's all we needed." Wilson said. "Definitely got some confidence from saving the first. I got that first one and I knew I could save more."
It looked like a shootout wouldn't be necessary as the Bisons stampeded to a 3-0 lead just 20 minutes into the match. Two goals from Ivan Sakou and one from Ryan Birchfield seemed to lock up a semifinal berth for Lipscomb.
"We came out looking really good," Morrow said. "It was a 5 o'clock start and it was hot. I think we expended a lot of energy early and it paid off with three goals."
NJIT countered with a goal late in the first half, but it still appeared to be smooth sailing for the Bisons as the 3-1 lead held until the 85th minute. Two last gasp Highlander goals stunned the Bisons and forced overtime.
"I don't think I did a really good job of managing the game late," Morrow said. "I was thinking ahead to Sunday, and I was trying to save legs at the end of the match. That's not on the guys."
Two 10 minute extra periods weren't enough to find a winner though and the Bisons experienced their first shootout since 2008.
In the shootout, Logan Paynter had the first chance saved, but Sakou, Eduardo Reza and Ben Locke all put their penalties in the back of the net to secure the victory.
"We had a ton of belief in ourselves and one another," Morrow said. "We were resilient."
- Tonight's victory was the first shootout win in program history.
- It's the 6th consecutive trip to the semifinals for Lipscomb. The program has never advanced to the ASUN Final.
- Sakou's two goals give him seven on the season, one more than he had last year.
- Birchfield's goal was the third of the season for the junior.
- Ivan Alvarado assisted on the first two Lipscomb strikes to give him 21 career assists extending his program lead.
- Kyle Smith added a an assist for his 6th of the season.
The Bisons will take on familiar nemesis FGCU in the semfinals of the ASUN Tournament on Sunday at noon. The Eagles ended the Bisons season last year in Fort Myers in the semis.
"I think all the pressure is on them," Morrow said. "They have not played us playing the system we are now. Our guys are ready for this. I don't worry about heavy legs. We'll rest and recover tomorrow, and we'll be good to go Sunday."