At the start of OT, Rutgers took immediate control of play, failing to capitalize on three quality chances. On its fourth push towards the goal, sophomore Wes Kirk (Bloomfield, NJ), who scored the first RU goal, streaked up the far sideline and sent a cross into the box for senior Sherif El Bialy (Cairo, Egypt). El Bialy settled the ball as three ODU defenders swarmed him at the top of the box. At that point, Karcz raced in from behind, collected a tap from El Bialy and drilled the game-winning goal, his second tally of the season, into the upper right corner.
Things looked bleak from the outset, as ODU’s Michael Goncalves scored at the 19:43 mark on a well-placed through ball. The Monarchs added another with just under ten minutes left in the half, when Brandon Baker one-timed a cross from Atilla Vendegh that left RU keeper Ricky Zinter (Penfield, NY) defenseless.
Rutgers assumed the role of the aggressor in the second half, outshooting ODU 16-6, and notched its first at the 53:36 mark when Kirk drove home a header off a cross from Yaron Shlomi (East Brunswick, NJ). Rutgers added the tying goal at the 73:13 mark, when freshman Sammy Castellanos (Philadelphia, PA) tallied his team-leading fourth of the season. El Bialy collected the ball on the left wing, broke between two defenders and sent a cross back out to the top of the box. Castellanos settled the ball, side-stepped one more defender, and drilled the equalizer into the upper 90.
“We came out in the second half with a more aggressive lineup and it paid off,” said RU head coach Bob Reasso. “Our guys did a great job of fighting back in the second half, and we were able to control and dictate play.”
Rutgers held a 24-13 edge in shots and also enjoyed an 8-4 margin in corner kicks. Zinter and ODU’s Sam Cameron each stopped six shots. Rutgers, almost too aggressive at times, was flagged for six off-sides violations.
RU will return home on Wednesday night, when it hosts top-ranked St. John’s at 7:00 p.m. at Yurcak Field. BOX SCORE
Game 3 – St. John’s 0, UCLA 0
St. John’s, ranked first nationally, and UCLA, ranked sixth, played to a 0-0 tie in the first game on Sunday afternoon. SJU held a 17-7 edge in shots and did not allow a UCLA shot over the final 65 minutes. The Red Storm received a distinct advantage at the 61:55 mark, when UCLA’s Aaron Lopez was ejected following a flagrant foul at midfield. The Red Storm was unable to capitalize on the edge as the two teams played 110 scoreless minutes. Bill Gaudette (SJU) and Zach Wells (UCLA) each stopped four shots in goal.
First Place -- St. John's (Past Championships - 1996, 1993, 1992)
Second -- Rutgers
Third -- UCLA
Fourth -- ODU
Trevor McEachron, ODU
Brandon Baker, ODU
Adolfo Gregorio, UCLA
Tony Lawson, UCLA
Guy Abrahamson, RU
Ricky Zinter, RU
Sammy Castellanos, RU
Rich Bradley, SJU
Patrick Lonergan, SJU
Chris Wingert, SJU (Defensive MVP)
Chris Corcoran, SJU (Offensive MVP)