WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sophomore Augie Djerdjaj (Mahopac, N.Y.) scored his ninth goal of the season with 2:12 remaining in regulation to propel the No. 18 Connecticut College men's soccer team to a 1-0 triumph over No. 3 Johns Hopkins on Sunday afternoon at Catholic's Carlini Field. With the victory, the Camels punched their ticket to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
The deciding play started with sophomore Steve Yeonas (McLean, Va.) penetrating from the left sideline and cutting and moving in closer along the endline. The forward then slipped a pass through a group of Blue Jay defenders to Djerdjaj at the top of the box, and Djerdjaj finished by rifling the ball to the far right corner of the net.
Both defenses were locked in for the entire match and would not allow opposing offenses to get any good looks, as the teams combined for only six shots on target among the 29 attempted. But after junior netminder AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.) made his final stop off between the posts on a kick by Liam Creedon, the Camels were finally able to solve the Blue Jay back line with Djerdjaj providing the fireworks in the 88th minute.
Junior AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.) picked up his seventh shutout of the season by making three saves for Connecticut College, which outshot the Blue Jays by a 20-9 margin overall and 12-4 in the second half. Xander Lefevere suffered the tough loss by redirecting two shots.
The victory marked the fourth time a Connecticut College program has advanced as far as the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet 16" round in any sport. The institution's previous team to advance this far came in 1999 when men's basketball advanced to the national semifinal round.
Connecticut College (12-3-3) will now travel to Pennsylvania to face Swarthmore and its second straight Centennial Conference opponent in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and the winner will face either No. 5 Tufts or No. 11 Washington & Lee a day later at 3 p.m.