Top-seeded Wisconsin-Whitewater needed overtime and then some, prevailing 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout following a 2-2 double overtime draw to give the Warhawks the 2019 American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) tournament title over second-seeded UC Santa Cruz Sunday afternoon on the campus of Presentation of Mary Academy in Hudson, N.H. in a final four that was hosted by Pine Manor College.
UWW, which improved to 15-4-2, will no await word on a possible at-large bid to the NCAA national championship tournament. UC Santa Cruz completed its season 8-7-4.
Garrett Morgando's conversion in the shootout round proved to be the clincher giving the Warhawks the 4-2 decision in the fifth round.
Tournament MVP Hozai Ceballos picked up an assist for the winners. Mariano Carini and Steven Wright posted the goals for UWW. Kailas Dhond had a goal and assist and Lucas Donoso also scored for the Banana Slugs.
The game was classic matchup of evenly talented teams throughout. UCSC posted an 18-16 total shots advantage, though UWW posted seven on goal to UCSC's five.
Andrew Pimentel posted five saves for the Slugs, while Jake King turned aside three shots for UWW.
The Banana Slugs jumped ahead in the 21st on Dhond's tally off a Liam Laird setup, but UWW tied it in the 25th on Carini's strike off an Andres Villarreal pass play for a 1-1 game at the break.
Wright put the top-seed back in front at the 53:02 mark, taking a Ceballos pass and launching a laser-guided missile to the top shelf from 35 yards out.
But USCS responded in the 68th with Dhond sending a heat-seeker pass from the left side at 20 yards, deep through the box to find a streaking Donoso who slid outstretched and toed home the pass just above the right post for a 2-2 game.
Ben Blackfield and Ethan Kingery would convert for UCSC in the shootout round.
2019 ACAA Men's Soccer Championship Tournament
at Presentation of Mary Academy, Hudson, NH
November 2, 2019
(1) Wisconsin-Whitewater 7, (4) Finlandia 2
(2) California-Santa Cruz 2, (3) Pine Manor 1 (OT)
November 3, 2019
(1) Wisconsin-Whitewater 2, (2) California-Santa Cruz 2
(Wisconsin-Whitewater wins on PK, 4-2)
James Allison, UC Santa Cruz
Ben Blackfield, UC Santa Cruz
Noah Raisenan, Finlandia
Kailas Dhond, UC Santa Cruz
Evan Donini, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Andre Hernandez, Pine Manor
Trevor Johnson Wisconsin-Whitewater
Jake King, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Liam Linus, UC Santa Cruz
Noel Rios, Pine Manor
Hozai Ceballos, Wisconsin-Whitewater