Blue Knights fall in NCAA men’s soccer tournament


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BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Urbana University’s bid for a school record 15th win came up short Thursday following a 2-1 loss to rival Charleston in the third round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Championship, hosted by LIU Post in Brookville, New York.

The 13th-ranked Blue Knights finish their historic season tied for the most wins in school history with an overall final record of 14-5-1. UU also made the first-ever appearance in the Mountain East Conference Championship match – in any sport at the school.

It was the fourth meeting this season between the two squads, and rematch of last year’s NCAA third round Atlantic Region final. Charleston improved to 18-2-1 and advances to the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday.

UU raced out to an early 1-0 lead, as forward Lars Blenckers re-directed a corner kick from Raphael Northoff in the second minute to put the Blue Knights ahead.

It was only the fourth time in 21 matches that Charleston had trailed an opponent all season.

However, the region’s top-ranked team responded with two goals later in the opening half for a 2-1 advantage over UU at the break.

UC’s Felipe Antonio collected a loose ball and chipped a shot past UU keeper Nathan Jones for the equalizer in the 24th minute. Then, Freddie Tracy converted a rebound save in the box just before halftime.

The Blue Knights led in shots (9-8) and corner kicks (4-0) at halftime, but that momentum was halted over the final 45 minutes. UU totaled just two shots and registered zero corners in the second period.

Jones finished his career with four saves between the pipes. He’s the program’s all-time leader in shutouts (25), career goals against average (0.99) and most games played at keeper (72).

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