The Ohio State men’s soccer team ended its season with a loss to 12th-seeded UNC Greensboro in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
A 1-1 result after the second extra period resulted in a 6-5 penalty shoot-out win for the Spartans.
The Buckeyes (11-4-5, 5-3-2 Big Ten) had their best season under head coach Brian Maisonneuve, posting double-digit wins for the first time since 2015. Led by Captains junior midfielder Laurence Wootton and Redshirt junior defenseman Owen Sullivan, Ohio State finished third in the Big Ten and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
The Spartans (14-1-4, 4-0-1 Southern Conference) are looking to extend their winning streak to six wins against No. 5 Stanford after being crowned the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament champions.
UNCG dominated attack in the first half with constant pressure and three shots on target but remained scoreless thanks to three saves from senior goalkeeper Keagan McLaughlin. McLaughlin would end the match with five saves.
The game remained goalless until the second half. After new midfielder Marko Borkovic received the first yellow card of the game in the 76th minute and Spartan’s second midfielder JC Ngando missed the goal from a set piece, Spartan’s graduated striker Ismail El Harchi gave UNCG a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute an assist from veteran strikers Maycol Reyes and Marco Afonso.
However, Ohio State responded almost immediately to an assist from junior defenseman Deylen Vellios with an 81st-minute goal from junior midfielder Parker Grinstead. The game would go into overtime in a draw with one goal.
In NCAA tournament overtime, teams play a maximum of two 10-minute overtime periods. If a team scores unanswered in either overtime, the game ends. However, if no time is scored, the game will be decided by a penalty shootout.
This match went goalless in two overtime periods and was decided by penalties. Both teams took five of their first six penalties, but Sullivan’s last missed shot was the decisive one.
UNCG freshman defender Maddox Mallery stepped forward and ended the game with the ultimate goal of sending the Spartans through to the third round.
Ohio State’s four losses were its fewest since its runner-up finish in the 2007 NCAA tournament.