LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Stephen Jinneman scored the golden goal in overtime with a header in the 98th minute as sixth-seeded Western Washington topped third-seeded Dixie State, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament on Friday afternoon at Triton Soccer Stadium on the campus of UC San Diego.
With the win, Western Washington (10-4-4) advances to face second-seeded UC San Diego on Sunday at noon in the second round of the tournament. The Vikings, making their first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in program history, earned their first-ever win in the tournament with their sixth victory in a row. Dixie State, ranked No. 19 nationally and appearing in its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament as well, concluded the season (15-4-0) and had a 15-game win streak ended with the loss.
Jinneman (Jr., D, Redmond, WA) headed home the game-winner from 7 yards away after senior defender Brady Ulen (Coeur d'Alene, ID/Post Falls/North Idaho) sent a long throw-in into the 18-yard box and freshman midfielder Jeremiah Lee (Marysville, WA/Grace Academy) flicked on the ball with a header. Jinneman headed the ball off a bounce into the right side of the net for his first career goal, sparking an on-field celebration from the Vikings.
"Our guys never gave up," head coach Greg Brisbon said. "I thought we played pretty well as a team, we missed a lot of chances and gave them some chances. But I'm just proud the guys came back and stuck with the game plan, and you know we got a great goal in overtime."
Three of the game's five goals came in the final 16 minutes of the second half as Western Washington tied the game at 1-1 in the 75th minute before taking the lead in the 88th minute, only to have Dixie State answer with a goal in the 89th minute. Ulen was involved in all three of the goals scored by Western Washington, converting two penalty kicks before assisting the third goal.
Dixie State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute when Angel Estrada was able to control a rebounded shot near the top of the 18-yard box and take a couple of touches before firing a shot that deflected off a Western Washington defender and bounced high over the head of goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) and into the back of the net.
Ulen netted the tying goal in the 75th minute after junior forward Anthony Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) was fouled inside the 18-yard box, finishing to the lower-left corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season.
The Vikings took the lead in the 88th minute after Dixie State was called for a hand ball inside the 18-yard box. Once again, Ulen converted with a finish to the left side of the net for his fifth goal of the season, and fourth by way of a penalty kick.
But the Trailblazers, who were playing a man down after a red card was issued in the 79th minute, answered quickly as Blake Damato sent a well-placed free kick over a wall of Vikings and into the upper-left corner of the net in the 89th minute. The equalizing goal came from outside the top of the 18-yard box and less than a minute and a half after the Vikings had taken a 2-1 lead.
The win upped the overtime record for Western Washington to 2-1-4 this season and improved the Vikings to 6-0-1 over their last seven games.
"Not a lot of people outside of our group believe in us, but we do," Brisbon said. "We have a chip on our shoulder to prove everyone wrong, also. It's a great feeling and I'm really happy for the guys and the alums and the department at Western."
Western Washington held a 26-15 advantage in shots, including a 12-7 edge in shots on goal during the game.
Visten made 5 saves for Western Washington, including a crucial save in the 96th minute during overtime when Moises Medina broke free with space inside the 18-yard box and fired a shot that was saved with a deflection from Visten and went just wide of the left post.
Dixie State goalkeeper Bradley Trella made 7 saves, and the Trailblazers were credited with 2 team saves.
"It's just resiliency, that's our team," Brisbon said. "We just find a way to do it and are confident and believe. And I don't even think we've played our best game yet this season. So I'm waiting for that, hopefully that comes on Sunday because we have a tough opponent in (UC) San Diego."
The winner of Sunday's game between Western Washington and UC San Diego will advance to the third round and will face the winner of top-seeded Simon Fraser and fifth-seeded Cal Poly Pomona. Simon Fraser and Cal Poly Pomona play Saturday at 1 pm. The sites for the third round and quarterfinal rounds are yet to be determined and are based on the seeds and regions of the advancing teams.
-- WWU Athletics (@WWUAthletics) November 11, 2016
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