Stars Stopped By Knights In NCAA First Round

Stars Stopped By Knights In NCAA First Round

Courtesy of Dominican University

WAVERLY, Iowa -- The Dominican University men's soccer dropped their NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship first round matchup to the host Wartburg College Knights 4-0 on Friday night in Waverly, Iowa. The loss brings the Stars' 2013 season to a close, going 12-5-2 on the season and winning a share of their eighth consecutive Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference regular season championship and winning the NACC Tournament for the eighth year in a row.

Dominican trailed 1-0 at the half on Michel Levine's second goal of the season. Levine's shot through traffic in the 31st minute was one of just three shots in the half by the Knights as Dominican controlled the run of play through the opening 45 minutes, outshooting the host Knights 8-3 and putting four shots on goal.

The match intensified early in the second half as Dominican's Mitch Corsten (Bloomingdale, Ill.) and Wartburg's Zubeen Azari got tangled up after a hard tackle and as the dust settled, the players were both shown a red card by Referee Daniel Cataldi. Moments later Cataldi showed Dominican's 19th-year head coach Erick Baumann a red card, officially ending the night for Corsten, Azari and Baumann in just the 48th minute.

Despite the ejections, Dominican stayed within a goal until the 69th minute when Wartburg's Chris Nothnick tallied his third goal of the season with the Stars pressing forward, looking to net the equalizer. Wartburg then added another goal in the 73rd minute as Peter Tran received a pass near the top of the 18-yard box before one-timing a shot past the Stars' Garbriel Gongora (Naperville, Ill.) who made his 17th start of the season in the Dominican goal.

The Knights tacked on another goal in the 77th minute, countering on a Dominican corner kick, freeing Paris Martins for a 1v1 with Gongora. Gongora made the initial save but Martins collected the rebound and lifted a shot over Gongora that bounced into the goal.

"This was a tale of two halves again," said Baumann when asked about the loss. "This evening we dominated the first half, didn't finish and then got beat in the second half. As a team, we have learned a lot this year. We will be better from it."