"This was just a great soccer game," said head coach Adam Cooper. " Two very evenly matched teams and two squads that fought incredibly hard. Both teams deserved to be in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. You could see that it was going to come down to one little mistake or taking one opportunity and that's what it came down to. A great college soccer game."
The Gaels scored first, only to see Brown tie the match and later take the lead in the second half. After the Gaels got the equalizer just two minutes later, Saint Mary's avoided two close calls at the end of regulation to force OT. In the 98th minute, Trevor Newquist dove to head in his second goal of the match as it bounced in the net, sending the Gaels into a frenzy and the Elite Eight.
Newquist scored the first goal of the match in the 29th minute on a header off a corner kick from Julian Godinez. The goal held up as the Gaels led 1-0 at halftime.
Brown was clearly the attacking team in the first part of the second-half as the Bears scored in the 51st minute on a strike by Dylan Remick. Sean Rosa then put Brown on top 2-1 with a goal in the 62nd minute, getting a ball past Doug Herrick.
Tom Mohoric stopped the Bears momentum with a goal just two minutes later in the 64th to tie up the match at 2-2. Brown had two chances near the box in the final 90 seconds but the Gaels forced OT.
Brown had the first chance in OT but a ball bouned wide, while the Gaels took advantage of another set piece. Off a throw-in, the ball was touched and bounced into the air in the box. Newquist dove at the ball and headed in the goal as it got past the keeper.
The goal happened on the far end of the field, away from the SMC bench as the Gaels immediately celebrated the final score that lifted SMC to the Elite Eight.
Even one hour after the match, coach Cooper was smiles and speechless, so proud of the Saint Mary's Gaels advancing to the next round.
The match was even throughout as Brown took 17 shots compared to 14 by SMC. Brown held a 7-5 edge in shots on goal. SMC took five corner kicks compared to four by Brown. The Bears committed 11 fouls, while the Gaels were called four seven fouls.
Saint Mary's is only the second team in school history (all sports) to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight (joining men's basketball in 1959.
The Gaels will head to Chapel Hill to take on No. 1 seed North Carolina on December 3 at 2:00 p.m. (PT).