Wilmington, N.C. – Connor Behrend recorded eight saves in regulation but a corner kick in the opening minute of overtime led to a UNCW 1-0 victory on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.
How it happened:
The first half started with both teams feeling the game out as neither team took a shot until the 13:28 mark of the first half. The Seahawks Julio Moncada was able to get free on a breakaway but Behrend was there to knock it out of play recording his first of eight saves on the night. This resulted in a corner kick but UNCW was unable to do anything with it.
The Seahawks would control the possession in the first half taking seven shots to the Blue Hose’s two, and 3-1 in shots on goal. Behrend would save all three Seahawks shots on frame in the first half.
UNCW kept attacking on the offensive end early in the second half taking another shot on goal in the first 10 minutes of the half. It was saved by Behrend, career save number 200. Tyler Beadle with 230 is the only other Blue Hose player that can make the claim of having over 200 in the Division I era of PC soccer.
Behrend would have arguably the biggest save of his career at the 68:26 mark as the Seahawks David Lozano came around on a kick from 18 yards out and Behrend went airborne to knock it off course preserving the scoreless tie.
The Seahawks continued attacking the Blue Hose all night but the back line of the Blue Hose defense and Behrend were up to the challenge. Behrend finished the first 90 minutes with eight saves on the Seahawks 13 shots overall.
In the first minute of the overtime period UNCW would tally corner kick number 13 on the night that would find a couple Seahawks feet before finding the back of the net for the UNCW win.
Player of the Game:
Behrend had his best on the biggest stage as he came up with eight saves in the contest. On at least one occasion going airborne to knock a shot that was rocketed off a Seahawks attacker from just 18 yards out. He knocked countless other corner kicks out of the air before they could become shots on goal.
- The Blue Hose finish their season with a 6-9-5 record overall while UNCW improves to 12-7-0.
- This was the most successful season in the history of PC Division I soccer as they were Big South champions and advanced to their first NCAA Tournament.
- They finish with a .425 winning percentage, tied with 2016 for the best in school history (Division I).
- They scored 23 goals and 19 assists topping 2016’s 22 goals and 18 assists for most offense in a single season.
- They finished in plus territory as they averaged 1.15 goals per game and gave up 1.10 goals per game.
- The Blue Hose had recorded 315:59 minutes in between goals allowed.
- They had recorded back to back shutouts of Radford and High Point, they shut out UNCW for the first 90 minutes and Campbell the last 5:12.
- 55 shots from the opposition spanned that time in between goals allowed.
- The Blue Hose tied the single season record for OT games with seven. They also had seven in 1990, 1993 and 2016.
- Behrend finished his senior season with 1724:59 minutes played, a 0.94 goals against average and .806 save percentage.
- Behrend’s 0.94 goals against average is a school single season record for PC at any level.
- His .785 career save percentage is third in Big South history.
- He had 204 total saves with only 56 goals allowed for his career.
- Behrend was named to the All-Big South Tournament Team.
- Clement Vannier finished with a single season record for freshmen in the Division I era with five and added two assists for 12 points also a freshman record. These numbers also led all Big South freshmen this season.
- Vannier was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team.
- Sergio Pinto was voted Second Team All-Big South, All-Big South Tournament Team and finished the season with three goals and four assists for 10 points, second on the team.
- Pinto has seven career goals and seven career assists after his first two seasons. This gives him 21 career points; all three figures are top five in PC Division I history.
- Ricardo Hernandez was named Big South Tournament Most Valuable Player. Hernandez was also named to the Big South All-Academic Team.
- Adrian Edo Martin finished his freshman season with one goal and three assists, was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team and All-Big South Tournament Team.
- Victor Menudier was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team as a defender, he also had one goal scored.