And then there were four. And the Cards are not one of them. For the second straight year, elite would be all the Cards would be.
The end of this one would be a heartbreaker… for the more than 3 thousand fans who attended, the team that worked so hard to get to this point and for the seniors who won’t get another shot at the title wearing the Cardinal kits. It would be the final match for Tim Kubel, Mohamed Thiaw, Geoffrey Dee, Sawyer Edwards, Walker Andriot, Campbell Weyland, and Joey Kunkel.
The game would require two overtime periods, penalty kicks and then a sudden death shootout. The Cardinals missed on their attempt in the first sudden victory round of the shootout before Akron’s Niko De Vera delivered the clincher in the upper left corner. In the first five rounds, the Zips were successful on the first (Stuart Holthusen), fourth (Sam Gainford) and fifth attempts (Joao Moutinho), while the Cardinals connected on the second (Adam Wilson), third (Tim Kubel) and fifth attempts (Tate Schmitt). Akron registered a 4-3 shootout victory in the NCAA Championship quarterfinal match.
“It’s a tough way to bow out of the NCAA Tournament, without having lost. It’s a tough way to decide it but it is the way it is. I’m sad for our guys, especially the seniors,” said Cardinals head coach Ken Lolla. “I told (the team) that I don’t have words for an ending like that. I can’t console them because there are no words I can offer. It hurts and it should hurt. When you put that much into the season and it ends so suddenly, it’s difficult and it’s a lot to process. Only time will allow us to deal with it.”
An absolutely heartbreaking loss for this team and program. But they’ll be back. And we will be out there cheering.
As always, Go Cards Go.
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