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November 11, 2012
Rutgers-Camden falls on pks to York

YORK, Pa.-- York converted on their first four penalty kicks and Rutgers Camden missed a pair of theirs, sending the Spartans into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III Menís Soccer Championships Sunday afternoon.

Although the game officially counts as a tie, Rutgers-Camden ends its season with a 17-2-3 record.

The 18-2-3 Spartans advance to the Sweet Sixteen next weekend, where they will face the nationís top-ranked team, perennial powerhouse Messiah College. Messiah posted a 3-0 victory over Emory in its second-round game Sunday.

After both teams converted their first penalty kicks, the Raptors misfired high and wide on their next two, while York continued to convert its chances. Senior back Brian Hill kept his team alive when he converted Rutgers-Camdenís fourth attempt, but York ended the drama and the Scarlet Raptorsí season when junior back Aaron Beale scored on the Spartansí fourth shot to decide the penalty kick round with a 4-2 edge.

In a battle between a pair of nationally-ranked programs, defense ruled the day as offensive opportunities were limited for both sides. York held a 7-2 advantage in shots in the first half, but both teams had two shots on goal, forcing Spartans senior goalie Jesse Derksen and Raptor junior keeper Mike Randall to make two saves apiece.

Early in the second half, Rutgers-Camden lost junior forward Mitch Grotti to an injury. The Scarlet Raptors, ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA poll, managed only seven shots in the game against the tough York defense, and one of Rutgers-Camdenís best opportunities was a second-half cross to the top of the box that was just barely behind an on-rushing player.

York, meanwhile, had 22 shots overall and a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, but also had trouble penetrating the Scarlet Raptor defense. The Spartansí best chances came with a pair of dangerous opportunities in the first overtime.

Early in the overtime, with the ball rolling free toward the right post, senior back Kevin Burke knocked the ball clear of the goal line. Later in that overtime period, Randall made a diving save to deny a goal.

Randall finished with seven saves, while Derksen had four as the teams headed into penalty kicks.

The Scarlet Raptors inserted freshman Eric Bumbera in goal for the PKís, while York continued with Derksen. After the Raptorsí freshman Mike Ryan and York senior Justin Facer traded goals in the opening set of kicks, the Raptors missed a pair while York connected behind shots from freshman Eli Bjerk and senior Cody Pearson .

Hillís PK gave Rutgers-Camden a chance before Bealeís penalty kick ended the Scarlet Raptorsí season.

The tie left Head Coach Tim Oswald with a 99-38-20 record through his seven years at Rutgers-Camden. He is 36-5-5 over the last two seasons, including 4-1-1 in NCAA tournament action.

Senior midfielder Casey Doyle finished his career with 86 appearances, fifth on the programís all-time list. Burke had 84, tied for seventh. Both players are among only 15 athletes in program history to appear in over 80 career games and senior midfielder Zak Piccoline barely missed that total, ending with 79.

Ryan finished his freshman year with 39 points (third on the single-season charts) and 17 goals (fourth).

Grotti set the records last season with 19 goals and 45 points and he continued his climb up the programís career chart this season with 11 goals, becoming only the third player in program history to reach 40 goals. He is third on the all-time list and trails the leader, George Scafidi (1974-77) by only three goals. He also has 94 career points, third on that list and only 16 behind the program record held by Mike Zeno (1992-95).

Randall, meanwhile, finished his stellar season with 17 wins, second only to the 19 compiled by Tim VanLiew last season, and nine solo shutouts, tied for third on the single-season goalie list. He also finished with a 0.72 goals-against average, the third-lowest single-season mark in program history. VanLiew set the record last year at 0.70.

As a team, the Raptors posted 11 shutouts, tied for second all-time and one behind the record set in 1981.

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