Men’s Soccer Advances to PL Finals With Dramatic Shootout Victory Over Navy; Watch Game-Winner

Matt Makowski's Game-Winning Shootout Goal
Matt Makowski's Game-Winning Shootout Goal

The American University men's soccer team advanced to Sunday's Patriot League Championship Game with a thrilling 4-3 shootout triumph over Navy Friday morning at Reeves Field. The Eagles move onto the conference final for the third straight season where they will be seeking the program's ninth NCAA Tournament berth.

Top-seeded American (7-11-2, 5-2-0 PL) and No. 4 Navy (7-7-5, 3-2-2 PL) battled for 110 minutes in regulation and through two overtime sessions with neither side able to break through.

The match then proceeded to a best-of-five shootout to decide the winner. American took the early advantage when goalkeeper Matt Makowski made a diving save to his right to deny Navy's Eric Skogerboe. AU's Alassane Kane stepped up first and converted to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead through one shot.

But Navy bounced back with a goal off the foot of Dave Arnold and Colin Seigfreid missed for the Eagles to level the shootout at one. Each of the next four strikers -- Ryan Morales and Cristobal Soto on the American side -- knocked home their opportunities to keep the shootout level at three apiece with one shot remaining.

Navy's Martin Sanchez was the final shooter for the Mids and his shot missed high, opening the door for the Eagles. Makowski, AU's senior goalkeeper, proceeded to step up and knock home the match's final shot, giving the Eagles the dramatic shootout victory.

Friday's match was the third time in five Patriot League Tournament matches that the Eagles have been victorious in a shootout since joining the conference in 2001. Most recently, AU defeated Lehigh, 6-5, in a shootout in the 2009 conference semifinals.

American will face second-seeded Colgate on Sunday, November 13 at 1 p.m. at Reeves Field. The Raiders' defeated No. 3 Lehigh in a shootout, 5-4, following a scoreless 110 minutes in Friday's second semifinal at Reeves Field.

Sunday's championship game is American's third straight appearance in the finals and sixth overall in the last 11 years. Check back with on Saturday for a full preview for Sunday's final.

Tickets for Sunday are $8 for adults and $5 for children and seniors, and can be purchased outside of Reeves Field prior to the game. AU students with a valid school ID will be admitted free. The match will also be available on Patriot League All-Access. Be sure to follow AU men's soccer on Twitter for in-game updates on Sunday.