Cano's Golden Goal Sends Men's Soccer to NCAA Elite 8

MEDFORD - In another overtime epic in the NCAA Tournament, the Tufts Jumbos prevailed 2-1 in an evenly matched game against Washington College on Saturday in the Sweet 16 at Bello Field. Senior forward Mati Cano scored the walk-off goal in overtime and dished out an assist to Ian Daly to lead the Jumbos.

Cano's serendipitous goal secures Tufts a spot in the Elite Eight, where they will play NESCAC foe Connecticut College on Sunday at 3 PM at Bello. The Camels defeated the University of Redlands 1-0 on a late goal capping a great day of Division III soccer at Tufts. The Jumbos and the Camels will meet for the third time this season tomorrow.

Today Tufts finished with 14 shots, four corners, and 12 fouls, while Washington College had 11 shots, three corners and six fouls.

The Sweet 16 game started a little nervy as both teams came out unsure of themselves and were mistake ridden. Tufts struggled to get their offense going in the first half and they barely tested Shoremen goalkeeper Anthony Pinto who would make five saves in the game overall. Tufts' strikers were called offsides five times in the first 45 minutes which hindered their cohesion and attacking movement, making it difficult to find any offensive consistency in the first half. The score went into halftime 0-0 with both teams showing little sign of breaking through.

In the second half, Jumbos head coach Kyle Dezotell had some minor adjustments like putting his wingbacks in a more attacking position. This gave Daly a chance to continue his NCAA goal-scoring hot streak by getting in behind defenders as the wingers made runs. In the 50th minute, Cano ran down the left-hand side and beat his defender to send in a cross to the box that found Daly, who blasted the shot into the back of the net to put Tufts up by one. It's his fourth goal of the tournament.

Washington College responded well as Del Jenkins found Greg Adams inside the box and he scored a beautiful goal at a tough angle to tie things up just four minutes later.

The Jumbos seemed stunned by their opponent's goal, and they spent the rest of the half trying to regain their composure. Biagio Paoletta made a physical challenge that earned him a yellow card, and a foul inside the box on a Tufts defender gave Washington College a great free kick opportunity in the 80th minute that went just high on a shot by James Strine.

Without another goal for either team, the game went into overtime, something Tufts is familiar with since they won their last game in penalties. Two minutes into extra time, Calvin Aroh chased down a ball in the Washington College end and dropped a pass to Cano. He found himself with some space outside the top left of the box and sent a perfectly placed ball over the goalkeeper and into the top corner of the goal.

Tufts players stormed the field and rushed over to their home crowd. The Jumbos (15-1-4) survive and move on to the Elite Eight. The Shoremen ended their year at 15-5-1.

Written by Isaac Karp, Athletic Communications Student Assistant

Watch Mati Cano's Game-Winning Goal ...