The UR men’s soccer team beat Hamilton College in thrilling fashion last night in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Senior Tyler Green scored the game’s only goal with just five seconds left in regulation to send the Yellowjackets to a second round showdown versus Stevens Institute of Technology.

The first half was slow, with neither team finding a way to create quality scoring chances. UR’s best opportunity came with just over 18 minutes left in the half when Green redirected a shot on goal, but the Hamilton keeper, junior Trevor Clarkson, made the save to keep the score tied.

It was still a 0-0 game at the start of the second half, but the ‘Jackets came out much stronger than before. Their constant pressure kept Hamilton’s defense on edge and created numerous scoring opportunities.

In the 74th minute, junior Patrick Ripp sent a free kick into the box, and a Yellowjackets player headed the ball past Clarkson. As the crowd broke into a roar, the referee called a foul against UR on the play, which negated the goal.

With 11 minutes left in the game, junior Jeremy Mann sent a great cross in from the right side, but the ensuing shot hit the crossbar. About a minute later, Mann sent in another cross. This time, the shot that followed was on goal, but Clarkson punched the it to preserve the tie for the Continentals.

The lack of production was frustrating for UR, but they kept pushing as Hamilton began to crack under the constant pressure. With 30 seconds left in regulation, the Yellowjackets earned a corner kick that set the winning chain of events in motion.

The kick was sent over everyone’s head, but junior Bobby Milenovici tracked the ball down before it went out of bounds. As the seconds ticked down, he lofted a ball into the middle of the box.Junior Eric Meister got the ball to senior Neil Osuch, who left it in the middle of the box for Green. UR’s leading scorer ripped a shot that found the back of the net with just five ticks left on the clock.

As the stunned Hamilton players looked on, the Yellowjacket bench and fans exploded. One last Hamilton attempt from midfield was off line, and as the final buzzer sounded the cheers once agan erupted.

The second-half turnaround was a strategic maneuver, according to Osuch.

“We wanted to put more pressure on [Hamilton],” he said. “We went to three forwards and stuck to our game plan.”

On Saturday, the team travels to New Jersey to take on a Stevens team that is undefeated and ranked sixth in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

“We are taking it one game at a time,” Osuch said. “We’re humble, but we’re confident as well. Our goal is just to play like we did tonight, to our potential.”

Moeller is a member of the class of 2009.

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