|November 18, 2018||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|LIP||96:58||ROBINSON, Louis (EAGER, Austin , BIRCHFIELD, Ryan)|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||UCF|
|Shots (on Goal)||8 (6)||19 (8)|
ORLANDO – Louis Robinson kept the story book season going for the Lipscomb men’s soccer team Sunday night with a game-winning goal in overtime to defeat #9 UCF, 1-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, Florida.
The freshman stuck a dagger in the Knights in the 97th minute when he finished a low cross from Austin Eager in the middle of the box by going over the keeper and into the top left corner.
“I saw it go straight to the top corner, and I’m still not sure what foot I hit it with,” Robinson said. “It was such a rush and it was great to have the goal. I felt like we 100 percent deserved that.”
The freshman phenom buried his fourth goal of the year to advance the Bisons to a Sweet 16 date with #3 Kentucky in Lexington.
“This means a lot,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “A small school like us being in the Sweet 16, it means a lot for the school, it means a lot for the program and it means a lot to these players. I am really blessed to be the coach of this team.”
The 14th-seeded Knights earned a bye in the first round and certainly had the advantage in rest. The Bisons were sent on a 5,000-mile roundtrip journey that airmailed them coast to coast in a span of four days.
Lipscomb (10-9-1) needed time to find its legs in the early going and as a result the Bisons found themselves fending off attacks at a high rate.
UCF went into halftime with a decisive 13-1 advantage in shots. Fortunately the Bisons have Chris Zappia in net. The senior keeper continued to come up with big stop after big stop. His biggest save came in the 83rd minute when Richard Amon got himself one on one with Zappia. The second team All-ASUN selection closed on the attacker and blocked the ball with his chest.
Cal Jennings – the nation’s second leading goal scorer with 20 coming in - led the Knights and proved to be a problem early on. In the first 25 minutes he got deep in the box and pushed two headers wide and pinged another off the crossbar – one of two from the Knights in the first 17 minutes.
After sitting back and forcing UCF to chase the ball for a while, the Bisons began going on the attack. In the 66th minute freshman Scott Gulden flicked a ball over the defense and just wide of the right post in what was the best look of the night up to that point.
The last chance in regulation for the Bisons came off the head of Ryan Birchfield in the 81st tick. Knights keeper Yannik Oettle stepped in front and settled it in to keep the match scoreless.
Playing in its fifth overtime match of the season Lipscomb came out the aggressor and worked its way into a goal. Less than 20 seconds before the goal, Logan Paynter threw one at the keeper before Noah Gulden took the rebound and fired another that Oettle was forced to turn away.
Nine seconds later Robinson finished off the Knights.
“Not Washington, not UCF, not anyone outside our locker room thought we had a chance,” Robinson said. “We kept believing and fighting. We knew we were going to win and that’s what we did tonight.”
The nonbelievers better start believing. These Bisons are 4-1 on the year against Top 25 teams. The one loss came at home to Kentucky, who was ranked seventh at the time, in overtime as the Wildcats scored in the 96th minute to win 3-2.
Suffering its first defeat at home this season, UCF closes it season 13-3-3 overall.
- Lipscomb is the first ASUN Conference team to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament since 1996.
- The Bisons have now posted three consecutive shutouts and have not allowed a goal in the last 372:34 minutes of play – Jacksonville’s goal at 14:24 in the ASUN Semifinals on Nov. 4.
- UCF played four ASUN teams in the regular season and beat them by a combined 21-3.
- Those results were against Liberty (4-1), Stetson (4-2), Jacksonville (8-1) and FGCU (5-1).
- Lipscomb recorded just one clean sheet in the first 17 games of the season. It came against Belmont (2-0) in the season opener.
- In its last nine matches, Lipscomb is 7-1-1. The tie resulted in the Bisons 5-4 win in PKs at Washington on Thursday.
- Zappia 9-0-1 in his last 10 games in net. He has not lost a decision since Sept. 15 against ETSU.
- Zappia lowered his goals against average to 1.07 on the year.
- Morrow played 16 Bisons in the match, seven of which played full minutes.
- Birchfield and Ben Locke led the team with two shots, Locke put both of his on target.
- Eager and Birchfield were credited with an assist. It was Eager’s second helper, while Birchfield collected his third.
- The Knights had been held scoreless just three times all season. They are the nation’s sixth highest-scoring team in the nation averaging 2.32 goals.
- UCF outshot Lispcomb 19-8 overall and 8-6 on goal.
After having to travel the most miles among any team in the NCAA Tournament the first two rounds, Lipscomb will have the shortest journey for the Sweet 16 as it is only 220 miles to Lexington from Nashville.
The Bisons and Wildcats are set for a 6 p.m. kickoff Saturday.