SAN DIEGO – The Dixie State men’s soccer team was upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by sixth-seed Western Washington 3-2 in overtime.
The match was rife with rough play. The teams were assessed 19 fouls each, but DSU received six yellow cards, two by Dom Damato that resulted in his ejection. The Vikings received four yellow cards.
DSU Goalie Bradley Trella played tremendously in the first half. WWU outshot Dixie State 15-9 in the first half with five of those on goal. Trella saved four while the team had a save on the other.
In the second half, Dixie State was called for a foul in the box giving the Vikings a penalty kick. WWU’s Bradley Ulen converted for the 1-1 tie at the 74:39 mark.
Four minutes later, after the referee called a corner kick for WWU, Dominic Damato received his second yellow card of the day for dissent.
The score remained that way until late in the game when DSU was called for a controversial handball in the box. The replay showed that the ball was kicked into the defender’s hand and appeared to be non-deliberate. However, DSU’s Gabby Medina received a yellow card for arguing the call.
It was again Ulen who took the shot and got it by Trella for the 2-1 lead with 2:23 remaining. Blake Damato got the equalizer with 1:07 remaining on a free kick from about 40 yards out.
In the eighth minute of overtime, the Vikings got the game winner on a throw-in. WWU’s Steve Jinneman headed the goal off a rebound by Ulen.
For the game, WWU outshot the Trailblazers 26-15 and 12-7 for shots on goal. Dixie State ends the year at 15-4.
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