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Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

FDU KNIGHTS

November 11, 2012
JACOB'S LADDER
Goalkeeper rises to occasion in shootout to boost FDU men into NCAA Division I tournament


FDU celebrates winning the Northeast Conference crown.
FDU celebrates winning the Northeast Conference crown.
Photo courtesy of FDU SID
WEST HAVEN, Conn. Goalkeeper Jacob Lissek made two saves in a seven-round shootout as the second-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson men earned the Northeast Conference title over fourth-seeded Saint Francis (Pa.) at West Haven High School on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and two extratime sessions before FDU prevailed in the tie-breaker, 6-5. The Knights (9-5-6) advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament, while the Red Flash end the year 6-7-7.

The Knights will discover their next opponent during the NCAA Selection Show at 5:30 p.m. ET Monday on www.ncaa.com. Opening round play begins on Thursday.

Lissek, named the tournament MVP, made a diving save to his right to give FDU its seventh NEC championship, including their second in five years and sixth since 2000.

"Wow, what a game...that was an intense battle," FDU coach Seth Roland said. "All year long, our guys have felt that they had some unfinished business to take care of from last year's NEC championship game, which inspired us for the past 365 days, and bringing home the 2012 NEC championship makes it all worthwhile. I could not be more proud of the guys, and it is great to see their comitment, work ethic and mentality rewarded."

FDU senior Jack McVey converted his shot for a 1-0 lead. Lissek made save diving to his left to end the first roudnd.

The Knights could not extend the lead as junior Nicholas Walker missed his shot to the right. The Red Flash then tied it at 1-1.

Over the next four rounds, each team made converted their penalty kicks. In the seventh round, sophomore Nico Wright gave FDU a 6-5 advantage, which set up Lissek's dramatic clinching save.

"We all loved the loud and enthusiastic support of our FDU students, who came up on the fan bus, as well as the support of our families and friends," Roland said. "We tip our caps to Saint Francis Pa. Head Coach Mike Casper, his staff and his student-athletes because they are a very well-coached, hard working and outstanding team. It was one hell of a battle."

FDU got off to a quick start as Walker put the Knights up 1-0 in the 10th minute on a header from a corner kick by McVey.

In the 35th minute, the Knights looked primed to take a 2-0 lead as freshman Simon Doherty found himself all alone on a breakaway. However, goalkeeper Daniel Valcicak, a first team All-NEC performer, saved it.

The Red Flash's Nick Kolarac sent a corner kick to defender James Price, who headed to the upper-right corner of the goal in the 43rd minute.

FDU junior David Cornwell hit the post with a shot in the 55th minute and freshman Jan Aubert's follow up was blocked. A minute later, redshirt junior Jeffrey Barrenechea and McVey saw their shots saved and sail high, respectively.

The Red Flash had chances in the 75th and 76th minutes, but the FDU defense blocked both shots, while another shot went high.

The McVey to Walker connection almost ended the match at the end of regulation as Walker's header off the corner kick hit the far post with two seconds left.

Things got dicey for the Knights with two minutes remaining in OT. After a corner kick by the Red Flash, Ryan Byers corralled the ball and ripped a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar. Price then had an opportunity but his header just skimmed off the top of the crossbar and over the goal.

Saint Francis outshot FDU, 14-13, while the Knights enjoyed a 13-9 corner kick advantage.
 
 
 
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