NORTHFIELD, Minn.—Brandon Chmiel scored an unlikely goal and added an assist as University of Wisconsin-Platteville advanced to the NCAA Championships sectional round for the first time in school history, dispatching of Carroll University (Wis.), 2-1, in the NCAA Tournament’s second round at Carleton College’s Bell Field.
UW-Platteville (15-3-2) had the clear advantage over the first 45 minutes and that pressure was rewarded in the 34th minute when Chris Brown converted Chmiel’s corner kick, rising high above the fray to head home his sixth tally of the year.
Less than six minutes later Chmiel had a free kick about 40 yards out from the near sideline. His arching, bending ball to the far post into traffic was well placed. Carroll goalkeeper Tomek Miaskowski was screened off by a leaping UW-Platteville attacker, and the ball snuck under the crossbar for his team-leading 14th goal of the year.
Carroll (13-8-1), which advanced to the second round on the strength of yesterday’s first-round upset of No. 12 Carleton College, had its best chances early and late. A free kick from about 25 yards out in the first minute was placed on frame but right at UW-Platteville goalkeeper Ian Christensen. In the 25th minute Nemanja Medic was in behind the Platteville defense, but he was tracked down and dispossessed near the top of the 18-yard box. Six minutes later a Carroll blast from distance was blocked and came right to Neil Zoglman, whose blast was knocked down by Christensen. The Platteville keeper gave up the rebound, but no Carroll player was on the doorstep to convert.
Carroll had a great chance in the opening moments of the second 45, as Dan Czernicki had a look from the left side of the 18-yard box with Platteville keeper Christensen well off his line, but the shot over Christensen was tipped and rolled wide. In the 71st minute Francisco Sajuan had a clear look from inside the 18, but it was just wide. Andy Ksobiech also had a great chance from inside the box in the 73rd minute, but Christensen was in good position to make a relatively easy save. That scenario repeated in the 81st, but Ksobiech couldn’t get enough power on the shot from the left side of the box and Christensen made a save to his left.
UW-Platteville also had its chances to extend to a three-goal. In the 69th minute, Kyle Hoertner’s shot was saved by Miaskowski to his left. Right before the Carroll goal, UWP’s Brown was free at the six-yard line, but Miaskowski came up with the save which proved crucial after Carroll pulled within a goal a minute later.
Carroll’s Connor Behnke played a ball from the back line about 50 yards down the field, over the Platteville defense and right on to the foot of Medic. With Christensen off his line, Medic calmly dribbled to his right past Christensen and tapped home his seventh goal of the season. Carroll, though, couldn’t muster any sort of dangerous chance in the final two minutes.
The teams, which played in unseasonably warm 70-degree weather yesterday, battled much different conditions today. The temperature hovered below freezing, with wind chills less than 20 degrees. The pitch was slick after the Northfield area received about a quarter-inch of rain overnight and into the early-morning hours.
Despite playing a two-overtime, shooting-deciding game on Saturday, UW-Platteville seemed to bring more energy to the match, and the stats reflected a 25-15 spread in shots for the victors, who basically controlled the run of play for most of the match. Christensen made eight saves for UW-Platteville, while his counterpart Miaskowski tallied seven saves.
UW-Platteville now advances to next Friday’s NCAA Sectional to face No. 4 Loras College (Iowa). UW-Platteville is the only team to defeat the Duhawks this season, a 2-1 win back on Sept. 19. Game times and locations will be announced on Monday at ncaa.com.