Trinity University fell one step short of the NCAA Division III Soccer Semi-finals as they fell to a late golden goal on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers fell to No. 4Amherst College 1-0 in Amherst in the NCAA quarter-finals, making it three straight quarter-finals exits for Trinity.
The season marked a strong recovery from a mid season slump as the Tigers finished with a 22-3 record. The match was defensive as things were expected in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, which saw things stay tight throughout the match.
The hosts started the match well, looking to stop Trinity from their pattern of controlling things early and using an early goal to kill off the match. Christopher Martin was the clear target for Amherst but he could not get past a stern Trinity defense.
Despite that good start Trinity could well have hit the lead in the 18th minute after a great effort by Brent Mandelkorn. Mandelkorn found space and unleashed a powerful shot which beat the keeper but came off the crossbar.
That lead to a good passage for Trinity, but tellingly almost all of their opportunities were coming from set pieces. Amherst was doing well defensively and preventing those set piece opportunities from causing a threat, as the sides went into the break scoreless.
The physicality ramped up in the second half, with neither side wanting to concede a goal, they both looked to stop their opponents, not always legally. It didn’t take long for Amherst to take charge of the half, as they started to control the possession and the chances.
Chad Margotta was doing well in the Trinity goal, keeping out everything that Amherst threw at the Trinity net. It was Margotta who was a big part of why the match remained scoreless, sending the match into extra time.
The first period of extra time was tight, with few shots, but those that did come all went the way of Amherst. But again Margotta came up big for the Tigers as they were able to keep the hosts off the scoresheet.
But in the 105th minute Amherst won the game and they booked their ticket to Kansas City in the process. Cameron Bean and Aidan Murray linked up well to create space for the cross which found Nico Pascual-Leone who buried the chance and got the win.