PITTSBURGH, Penn. — We will have an all Golden Eagles championship match. Both Cal State LA and Charleston (WV) advanced to the finals at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 14 from Highmark Stadium.
Cal State LA came out and was solid from start to finish in a 3-0 victory over Indianapolis, while Charleston (WV) rallied from one down with three unanswered goals to move on to its second title match in the past three years.
You can relive the top moments, goals and highlights of the DII men’s soccer championship semifinals below and scroll down for recaps from every round of the tournament so far. And don’t forget, we’ll be right back here Saturday afternoon bringing you all the action from the conclusion of the 2019 DII men’s soccer season.
The DII men’s soccer championship: How the semifinals were won
GAME 2 FINAL: No. 2 Charleston (WV) 3, No. 3 Lynn 1
The Golden Eagles were held scoreless for over 30 minutes but closed the game with three unanswered goals. None was prettier than the equalizer when Ettore Ballestracci found Gabriel Rodriguez on a perfectly timed cross. Ballestracci was certainly the hero of the day, assisting on two goals and scoring the third he created himself on a steal.
Final numbers to know:
- Lynn scoring: Lukas Ostermann (Alexandre Horveno), 18:32
- Charleston scoring: Gabriel Rodriguez (Ettore Ballestracci) 34:53; Christos Charalambous (Ballestracci) 38:18; Ettore Ballestracci (unassisted) 84:27
- Shots: Lynn, 12; Charleston 12
- Saves: Konstantin Fuhry (Lynn) 3; Alvaro Dean (Charleston) 7
5:32 | Second half | Charleston (WV) 3, Lynn 1
Charleston gets a huge insurance goal on a long-range goal from Ettore Ballestracci. Ballestracci — who assisted on both of Charleston’s previous two goals — steals it from Lynn and launches one from about 20 yards out and curled it through the upper right of the goal. Lynn has to find an answer quickly.
20:00 | Second half | Charleston (WV) 2, Lynn 1
Still no score and it is utterly surprising. These teams continue to bring it and are getting sound goal play but really well-timed play from defensemen on both ends that have saved this game from more scores.
30:00 | Second half | Charleston (WV) 2, Lynn 1
Same score, plenty of intense action. This time Lynn escaped further damage with a header by a defenseman in net for a team save. These two teams are bringing it on every play. Neither team will relent on a loose ball and both teams are going back and forth pushing the ball downfield. Should be a strong finish.
40:00 | Second half | Charleston (WV) 2, Lynn 1
The score remains the same, but both teams have come out aggressive here in the second half. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to project there will be more scoring this half. Ostermann and Sandmann are so big and athletic for Lynn while Charleston has a handful of speedy players that can turn the game on a dime. This is just fun soccer.
End of first half | Charleston (WV) 2, Lynn 1
What an end to an amazing first half of play. With just five seconds left on the clock, Lynn took a free kick outside of the box and fired two shots at net and both were team saves as Charleston headed the ball out of net twice.
Whew. This has certainly lived up to expectations and there are 45 minutes left. Lynn struck first on a goal from Ostermann but Charleston struck back with two goals in less than five minutes. We’re set up for a thrilling second half in Pittsburgh so don’t go anywhere.
7: 22 | First half | Charleston (WV) 2, Lynn 1
Here comes that Golden Eagles offense. Charleston quickly scores again on a cannon from long range outside the top of the box from Christos Charalambous. Golden Eagles are now ahead in the final minutes of the first half.
9:10| First half | Lynn 1, Charleston (WV) 1
What an equalizer from Charleston! Ettore Ballestracci steals it away from Lynn and charges towards the net and centers it perfectly for Gabriel Rodriguez who one-times it in to tie the game. That may be the best goal of the day right there, almost perfectly executed.
26:28| First half | Lynn 1, Charleston (WV) 0
Lynn attacked the Charleston net and put a lot of pressure on Alvaro Dean. No. 23 Alexandre Horveno launched one across the field and found No. 9 Lukas Ostermann who fired it through the upper right of the net for the first score of the game. Lynn is dominating the attack with four shots on goal to none.
45:00 | First half | Lynn 0, Charleston (WV) 0
Your starting lineups:
45:00 | First half | Lynn 0, Charleston (WV) 0
Welcome to the rematch of a rematch. Lynn and Charleston have met plenty, the last two times in the tournament came in the 2017 championship match and the 2014 title game. Here’s what we’re watching tonight:
These two are no strangers to DII tournament play. This is a rematch of the 2017 national championship which, of course, was a rematch of the 2014 national championship. Each team has a win in those matchups, so this serves a bit as a rubber match, meeting this late in the season once again.
You won’t find a more balanced attack than Charleston in DII soccer. These Golden Eagles are the second-best scoring offense in DII (3.57 goals per game) and have allowed just .301 goals against, the best in DII. They haven’t allowed a goal in the postseason — and that’s including the Mountain East Conference tournament — outscoring their opponents 17-0 in five games.
Lynn has one loss on the season and looks like the championship caliber program it has turned into with four trips to the championship match this decade. Levin Sandmann and Lukas Ostermann form a dangerous scoring duo that Charleston will have to maintain. The two combined for all three goals in the Fighting Knights quarterfinal win.
GAME 1 FINAL: No. 1 Cal State LA 3, No. 4 UIndy 0
Cal State LA entered the match without a loss and that’s how the Golden Eagles will leave. They improve to 19-0-3 after downing UIndy 3-0.
The Golden Eagles scored once in the first half and twice in the second. The second goal was a pretty one as Daniel Simonis followed a Leonardo Nogueira shot with a header to the back of the net and a penalty kick from Tim Klefisch sealed the deal in the final two minutes of play. UIndy had plenty of opportunity in the second half with 11 shots, but couldn’t get one past Alex Brems, who finished with five saves.
- Cal State LA goals: Carl Solli (Leonardo Nogueira) 20:53; Damiel Simonis (Nogueira) 80:07; Tim Fleisch (PK) 88:31
- Saves: Dimitrios Karousos (UIndy) 5; Alex Brems (Cal State LA) 5
- Shots: UIndy: 13; Cal State LA: 16
2:00 | Second half | Cal State LA 2, UIndy 0
The Golden Eagles are keeping the pressure on. UIndy has 120 seconds to score twice.
9:51 | Second half | Cal State LA 2, UIndy 0
The Golden Eagles get some insurance. Cal State LA was on a breakaway and after Leonardo Nogueira fired one at the keeper the ball deflected high in the air where the Daniel Simonis was waiting to head it in. That is a huge goal this late in the match.
— Cal State LA Athletics (@LAGoldenEagles) December 12, 2019
20:00 | Second half | Cal State LA 1, UIndy 0
UIndy did a solid job of keeping the ball on the Golden Eagles side of the field for the past ten minutes but just can’t get anything set. The Greyhounds have just three shots on goal, one this half.
32:06 | Second half | Cal State LA 1, UIndy 0
Cal State LA has opened up its attack and has been putting the pressure on with a couple of near-misses in the last few minutes. UIndy’s keeper went down and was being tended to but is up and ready to defend his net. The Greyhounds still searching for a spark in this second half.
40:00 | Second half | Cal State LA 1, UIndy 0
We’re five minutes into the second half and folks, it’s getting chilly. UIndy will have to find a way to heat things up and get on the board if they Greyhounds want to continue their historic run.
End of first half | Cal State LA 1, UIndy 0
The two teams battled pretty evenly for the most part over the first 45 minutes. The Golden Eagles were able to capitalize on a pretty goal, and that’s all the scoring the two teams were able to muster.
10:00 | First half | Cal State L.A. 1, UIndy 0
UIndy has only been able to get one shot off through the first 35 minutes, but aside from one well-executed goal from Cal State L.A., has been able to keep the Golden Eagles off the board. We have a tight one here in Pittsburgh with ten to go in the first.
24:06 | First half | Cal State LA 1, UIndy 0
The Golden Eagles strike first on a breakway. Leonardo Nogueira finds Carl Solli streaking to the net in the middle of the field who gets it past a diving Dimitrios Karousos. The icebreaker has been made. Cal State L.A. needs to keep the pedal to the metal becaue UIndy is right back on the offensive.
— Cal State LA Athletics (@LAGoldenEagles) December 12, 2019
30:00 | First half | UIndy 0, Cal State LA 0
Not much to report yet. Both teams have had the ball in front of the net, but both defenses have prevailed. There has been one shot on goal so far as each team continues to feel each other out.
First half | UIndy 0, Cal State LA 0
Your starting lineups:
45:00 | First half | UIndy 0, Cal State LA 0
Off we go. Teams are announced and UIndy and Cal State LA are amped up for action. Here’s what we’re watching.
Can a West Coast team win the tournament? It hasn’t happened in more than a decade but these Golden Eagles looked the part from opening day and haven’t disappointed, still without a blemish in the loss column. They play a UIndy team that just keeps making program history with each start. The Greyhounds are in the first semifinal in program history.
But that’s not even the story here.
Both teams are rich in family values. Cal State LA has a pair of twins — Jorge and Jose Orellana — that anchor a defense that has allowed just 0.38 goals against. UIndy has not one, but two sets of brothers in the Olczyk and Steinwascher brothers. We’ve followed the Steinwaschers’ journey closely, and the two combined on all three goals in the program-history making third-round win over Ohio Valley.
There are storylines aplenty in the early game, which leads to a semifinals match that should be one to remember in the nightcap.
Here’s a look at every round leading up to Thursday’s semifinals.
The DII men’s soccer championship: The quarterfinals
Sunday, Dec. 8
No. 9 UIndy 1, No. 3 Maryville 0: Two teams entered Sunday’s play looking to advance to their first semifinals. It was UIndy’s Ben Rohder’s shot that deflected into the net of a defender that served as the game-winner. UIndy completes the field of four heading to Pittsburgh after a Saturday dominated by higher seeds.
Saturday, Dec. 7
All three winners had something in common on Saturday. Nary a goal was scored on any of them. Charleston (WV) won 2-0, Lynn won 3-0, and Cal State L.A. won 2-0. The Golden Eagles were predicted right here on NCAA.com in August to bring the title back to the West Coast. Lynn and Charleston (WV) could be heading for yet another memorable postseason showdown. The two met in the championship match in both 2014 and 2017 which each team winning one.
Here were Saturday’s scores:
Saturday, Dec. 7
The DII men’s soccer championship: Third-round recap
There were just two games in action Friday, but they are good ones.
- UIndy kept its historic season alive. The Greyhounds reached the quarterfinals for the first time in program history thanks to the electric pair of brothers. The Javier and Alejandro Steinwascher accounted for all the goals scored in the 3-2 victory over Ohio Valley.
- Maryville and Bellarmine couldn’t be a better way to end the third-round. The third meeting between the two was scoreless in the first half before Bellarmine finally broke the ice in the second. Maryville scored twice in the final six minutes however to seal the deal and advance.
Here are Friday’s scores along with the quarterfinal matches we know so far:
Friday, Dec. 6
There weren’t too many surprises on Thursday. No. 3 Charleston (WV) was the only lower seed to advance, which was hardly an upset over No. 2 Gannon. That said, several DII men’s soccer heavyweights are still alive and well in the tournament. Along with Charleston, Lynn — the final No. 1 seed remaining — advanced to yet another quarterfinals in its esteemed history. In the closest game of the night, No. 2 Cal State L.A. eked by No. 3 St. Mary’s needing both overtimes and every penalty kick to seal the deal.
Here’s Thursday’s scoreboard:
Thursday, Dec. 5
The DII men’s soccer championship: What to happened in Round 2
- The big story from the first weekend was the early exit by Azusa Pacific. The Cougars entered the tournament as the top seed and No. 1 team in the country and were handed their first loss of the season by Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers move on behind an impressive 2-1 victory.
- Two other No. 1 seeds fell as well. No. 9 seeded Post pulled off the mini-upset in the first round, taking down No. 8 Millersville, but posted a shutout in taking down top-seeded Adelphi. UIndy continued its incredible run by ousting No. 1-seed Lake Erie from the tournament. The Greyhounds await Ohio Valley in Round 3.
- That leaves Lynn as the lone No. 1 seed remaining in the tournament. The Fighting Knights are no stranger to deep runs, having appeared in four championship matches since 2010.
- Here were the scores and stats from the second round:
Saturday, Nov. 23
- Charleston (WV) 5, Mercy 0
- UIndy 2, Lake Erie 0
- Franklin Pierce 1, Wilmington (DE) 0
- Post 1, Adelphi 0
- St. Mary’s (TX) 5, Western Washington 0
- Lynn 1, Queens (NC) 0
- Bellarmine 0, Cedarville 0 (Bellarmine advances on PKs)
- Florida Tech 2, West Florida 1
- Colorado School at Mines 2, Azusa Pacific 1
- Cal State LA 3, Midwestern State 0
- Cal State San Bernadino 1, Cal Poly Pomona 0
Sunday, Nov. 24
2019 DII men’s soccer championship second round: How we got here
Forty teams entered the tournament and with Friday’s completion of the first round, 32 teams remain in the hunt on the road to Pittsburgh, Penn. from Dec. 12 -14 where the 2019 national champion will be crowned. Thursday’s action started with a bang as Indianapolis defeated Fort Hays State 3-2 in the first game of the tournament. It was another first as well, as the Greyhounds picked up their first NCAA tournament win in their DII men’s soccer history.
Just four teams were left to sort things out on Friday to wrap up the first round. West Chester and Assumption dueled in the first game on Friday’s DII men’s soccer championship action. It took nearly 106 minutes to decide, but Assumption put the golden goal in the back of the net in the second overtime. Later in the day, Francis Marion and Limestone battles into the overtime before Oliver Peters sent Francis Marion to the second round with the golden goal.
Thursday, Nov. 21 (all times Eastern)
Friday, Nov. 22
The new format for the DII men’s soccer championship
This year, the DII men’s soccer championship consists of 40 teams. The schools were selected from four Super Regions — 10 apiece — to fill the bracket. Of those 40, schools, 18 earned automatic bids to the tournament by winning their respective conference tournaments. We tracked those tournaments and champions, which you can check out in the link below:
History of the DII men’s soccer championship
The drought for a repeat champion will continue into its 20th season in 2019. Barry, which won its first title in 2018 over West Chester, failed to repeat its success and did not make the tournament. That means the last program to go back-to-back wasn’t even this millennium when Southern Connecticut State won in 1998 and 1999.
Here is a complete history of the DII men’s soccer championship match.
|YEAR||CHAMPION (RECORD)||COACH||SCORE||RUNNER-UP||HOST OR SITE|
|2018||Barry (16-4-3)||Steve McCrath||2-1||West Chester||Pittsburgh, Pa|
|2017||Charleston (W. Va.) (21-1-2)||Dan Stratford||0-0 (3-1 PKs)||Lynn||Kansas City, Mo.|
|2016||Wingate (19-1-0)||Gary Hamill||2-0||Charleston (W.Va.)||Kansas City, Mo.|
|2015||Pfeiffer (25-0-0)||Bob Reasso||4-0||Cal Poly Pomona||Pensacola, Fla.|
|2014||Lynn (19-1-1)||John Rootes||3-2||Charleston (W.Va.)||Louisville, Ky.|
|2013||So. New Hampshire (22-1-1)||Marc Hubbard||2-1||Carson-Newman||Evans, Ga.|
|2012||Lynn (20-2-1)||John Rootes||3-2||Saginaw Valley State||Evans, Ga.|
|2011||Fort Lewis (24-1-0)||Oige Kennedy||3-2 (OT)||Lynn||Pensacola, Fla.|
|2010||Northern Kentucky (20-2-3)||John Basalyga||3-2||Rollins||Louisville, Ky.|
|2009||Fort Lewis (24-1)||Oige Kennedy||1-0||Lees-McRae||Tampa|
|2008||Cal State Dominguez Hills (21-2-4)||Joe Flanagan||3-0||Dowling||Tampa|
|2007||Franklin Pierce (17-2-4)||Marco Koolman||1-0||Lincoln Memorial||Orange Beach, Ala.|
|2006||Dowling (22-0-2)||John DiRico||1-0||Fort Lewis||Pensacola, Fla.|
|2005||Fort Lewis (22-0-1)||Jeremy Gunn||3-1||Franklin Pierce||Wichita Falls, Texas|
|2004||Seattle (22-0-1)||Peter Fewing||2-1||SIU Edwardsville||Wichita Falls, Texas|
|2003||Lynn (22-0-1)||Shaun Pendleton||2-1||Chico State||Virginia Beach|
|2002||Sonoma State (20-3-1)||Marcus Ziemer||4-3||Southern New Hampshire||Virginia Beach|
|2001||Tampa (19-0-2)||Keith Fulk||2-1||Cal State Dominguez Hills||Tampa|
|2000||Cal State Dominguez Hills (23-1-1)||Joe Flanagan||2-1 (4ot)||Barry||Barry|
|1999||Southern Connecticut State (20-0)||Tom Lang||2-1 (2ot)||Fort Lewis||Barry|
|1998||Southern Connecticut State (20-2-1)||Tom Lang||1-0||South Carolina Upstate||South Carolina Upstate|
|1997||Cal State Bakersfield (20-4)||Simon Tobin||1-0||Lynn||Lynn|
|1996||Grand Canyon (12-4-5)||Peter Duah, Petar Draskin||3-1||Oakland||Grand Canyon|
|1995||Southern Connecticut State (21-1-1)||Ray Reid||2-0||South Carolina Upstate||South Carolina Upstate|
|1994||Tampa (15-2-1)||Tom Fitzgerald||3-0 (2ot)||Oakland||Tampa|
|1993||Seattle Pacific (18-2-1)||Cliff McCrath||1-0||Southern Connecticut State||Florida Tech|
|1992||Southern Connecticut State (21-2-1)||Ray Reid||1-0||Tampa||Tampa|
|1991||Florida Tech (19-2-1)||Rick Stottler||5-1||Sonoma State||Florida Tech|
|1990||Southern Connecticut State (22-0-1)||Ray Reid||1-0 (4ot)||Seattle Pacific||Florida Tech|
|1989||Southern New Hampshire (22-1-2)||John Rootes||3-1||UNC Greensboro||UNC Greensboro|
|1988||Florida Tech (15-6)||Rick Stottler||3-2||Cal State Northridge||Cal State Northridge|
|1987||Southern Connecticut State (17-1-3)||Bob Dikranian||2-0||Cal State Northridge||Tampa|
|1986||Seattle Pacific (17-4-2)||Cliff McCrath||4-1||Oakland||Seattle Pacific|
|1985||Seattle Pacific (20-3)||Cliff McCrath||3-2||FIU||FIU|
|1984||FIU (14-4-3)||Karl Kremser||1-0 (ot)||Seattle Pacific||Seattle Pacific|
|1983||Seattle Pacific (16-4-1)||Cliff McCrath||1-0||Tampa||Tampa|
|1982||FIU (16-3-1)||Karl Kremser||2-1||Southern Connecticut State||FIU|
|1981||Tampa (15-0-3)||Jay Miller||1-0 (ot)||Cal State Los Angeles||Southern Connecticut State|
|1980||Lock Haven (21-0-0)||Michael Parker||1-0 (ot)||FIU||FIU|
|1979||Alabama A&M (22-1)||Salah Yousif||2-0||Eastern Illinois||FIU|
|1978||Seattle Pacific (18-5-4)||Cliff McCrath||1-0 (3ot)||Alabama A&M||FIU|
|1977||Alabama A&M (16-1)||Salah Yousif||2-1||Seattle Pacific||FIU|
|1976||Loyola Maryland (21-1)||Jim Bullington||2-0||New Haven||Seattle Pacific|
|1975||Baltimore (16-2-1)||Dick Edell||3-1||Seattle Pacific||Seattle Pacific|
|1974||Adelphi (16-1-1)||Menahem Less||3-2||Seattle Pacific||Missouri-St. Louis|
|1973||Missouri-St. Louis (11-0-3)||Don Dallas||3-0||Cal State Fullerton||Springfield|
|1972||SIU Edwardsville (11-0-3)||Bob Guelker||1-0||Oneonta State||SIU Edwardsville|