ALBANY, N.Y. -- Robert Palumbo (Hampton, N.H.) scored a penalty kick in the sixth round to lift the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team past the University at Albany in the quarterfinal round of the America East Championship. The teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtimes, but it was UNH advance 5-4 in penalty kicks. The Wildcats advance to face the University of Vermont in the AE semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. at Virtue Field in Burlington, Vt.
The match started out as a defensive battle between the two sides with the first half being limited to only four combined shots. Josh Bronner (Belchertown, Mass.) tallied the only shot-on-goal for either team in the 45th minute of play. The attempt was turned away by Albany keeper Tim Allen.
The Wildcats came out strong in the second half, rifling six shots in the half to the Retrievers' three. Jordan Thomas (Mohnton, Pa.) notched the first on-target attempt of the half in the 74th minute of play while Ugo Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.) tallied the other shot in the 80th minute. Each of Albany's three attempts were off the mark. At the end of regulation, the game went into overtime with the score level at 0-0.
The defensive battle ensued again in the extra frames while neither team recorded a shot. With single-elimination being the case, the match was forced into penalty kicks.
Albany's Jeff Pierre was the first to attempt, however he was denied as keeper Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.) made a diving save to his right. Thomas took the lead shot for UNH and converted the attempt on a strike to the lower left corner. Retriever Crhistoffer Nisser got Albany on the board in the penalty kick phase with a shot to the bottom right corner. Jeffrey Turner (Blandon, Pa.) took the second attempt for the Wildcats but was denied by UA's Tim Allen.
Brandon Wilson converted next for Albany as he struck the shot to the lower left corner of the net. Lukas Goerigk changed up the pattern and netted his attempt in the top right corner of the net, bringing the tally to 2-2. Anthony Rozzano was successful in the next try for Albany, faking Worra and sending the shot to the middle-left portion of the net. Ryan McNabb (Downingtown, Pa.) leveled the tallies at 3-3 when he sent his PK to the left corner, middle-high between the ground and crossbar.
Quintel Gates secured his goal in similar fashion of Rozzano while Alex Hussein (Haverhill, Mass.) scored the next attempt in the same spot. Pomare Te Anau took his shot in the fifth spot of the lineup and was denied by Worra as the netminder dove to his left to block the attempt. Palumbo then secured victory for New Hampshire as he beat Allen to the top right corner of the net. After a grueling double-overtime draw, the Wildcats advanced with a 5-4 victory in penalty kicks.
PK Results - UNH advances 5-4 on PKs
UA's Jeff Pierre - missed
UNH's Jordan Thomas - made
UA's Christoffer Nisser - made
UNH's Jeffrey Turner - missed
UA's Brandon Wilson - made
UNH's Lukas Goerigk - made
UA's Pomare Te Anau - missed
UNH's Robert Palumbo - made