Nov. 19, 2005
Providence, RI - The Brown men's soccer team (11-4-2) advanced to the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory against in-state rival Rhode Island in front of a crowd of 2,062 at Stevenson Field on Saturday afternoon. Junior Ben Brackett scored the golden goal for the Bears 3:23 into the first overtime. Brown will play at #1 seeded Maryland (15-4-1) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
"This was a great day for Brown Athletics," said Head Coach Mike Noonan after the game. "Between us winning and the football team winning the Ivy Title, you couldn't ask for anything more."
The Rams took a 1-0 lead at the 22:23 mark of the first half despite the Bears maintaining possession of the ball for much of the half. Off a lead pass from Danliegh Broman, Jeffrey Gonsalves was able to force Brown freshman keeper Jarrett Leech off his line to try and cut off the shot. Gonsalves was able to get off a low, slow rolling shot that just barely made it by a diving Leech and into the corner of the net.
The Bears picked up their intensity even further in the second half, aggressively trying to even up the score. Brown got a golden opportunity with 22 minutes remaining in the game and did not let the chance slip by. Senior Keith Caldwell drilled home a direct kick from 22 yards out after the Rams Steve Mellen was ejected from the game. The goal was Caldwell's first of the season.
Now playing a man down, Rhode Island had no choice but to stay on the defensive as the Bears relentlessly went on the attack, setting up play after play inside the Rams box. Rhode Island's backline held strong though, sending the game into overtime with the score knotted 1-1.
After a frantic scramble inside the Brown box in the opening minute of overtime, Brown co-captain Matt Britner settled the team down. "I just told them to stay calm and that our chances would come," said Britner.
The chance came two minutes later in fact when Brown earned a corner kick on the other end. Junior Brian Joyce played the ball short to freshman Darren Howerton, who was stationed just outside the box. His serve into the box found an open Brackett, who headed the ball past URI keeper Dean Ruddy.
"It was a play we set-up in practice," said Howerton after the game. "I got it on my right foot and played into a good area where Ben got a good piece on it."
"It was a great chance and I just told myself to be patient and wait for it to come and play the ball," Brackett said.
Brown has now defeated Rhode Island in all three of the two teams' post-season meetings. The Bears knocked out the Rams in the second round of the NCAA Tournament back in 1977 with a 3-1 victory. Ironically, Brown took a 2-1 overtime decision in the first round of the tourney back in 1999 as well.