WATERVILLE, Maine – The Husson University men's soccer team fell to Thomas College, 3-2, in overtime in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men's Soccer Championship semifinals on cold Tuesday night at Smith Field. With the win the Terriers advance to the NAC Championship game.
Sophomore forward Adam LaBrie scored the Terriers first goal and the game-winner in sudden death overtime. Eagles junior keeper Cody Gross came up big for his team throughout the contest, stopping four breakaway chances.
The Eagles broke open the scoring in the 13th minute as Husson was awarded a free kick on the right side. Gage Kennedy sent the ball in front and it was settled by Miguel Caballero. Caballero sent a pass over to Saker Ghanayem who tucked the ball inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. The Terriers had many chances towards the end of the half but Gross stood tall for the Eagles.
Husson notched an insurance marker in the 62nd minute when a light shot from Jimmy Fitzpatrick found its way through the Thomas defense and by keeper Drew Martin.
The Terriers scored their first goal of the game in the 73rd minute as a crossing pass from freshman Josh Irving found the head of LaBrie in front, beating Gross to the left side for a 2-1 game. Just five minute later, Diondre Dowling sent a deep centering pass into the box. Willie Clemons headed the ball inside the right post for a goal to tie the game. The Eagles made a last second effort at the buzzer but Martin made the save to send the game into overtime.
Four minutes into the overtime, London Steede-Jackson took the ball up the right side and sent a centering pass in front. LaBrie jumped over a Husson defender, heading the ball in for the game-winning goal to finish the scoring at 3-2.
Martin turned aside eight shots in the victory for the Terriers while Gross made ten saves in a very impressive performance for the Eagles. Thomas outshot Husson 21-15 and held a 7-1 advantage in corners.
"Words cannot express how we feel right now," said head coach Gavin Penny. "We took a fantastic team into overtime and came up short. Every single player put in a shift tonight and all we can do is tip our hat to them. I'm gutted for the seniors, it hurts to think we could have been in the championship at our place on Saturday. I think we proved a point tonight that we can take on anyone. Hopefully this isn't the end and we can get another game in the Eastern College Athleic Conference (ECFC) tournament.
The Terriers will host the NAC Championship game on Saturday, November 5, as they take on New England College in a 4:00 p.m. matchup at Smith Field as the Eagles will wait to see if they will recieve an ECFC bid.