PITTSBURGH, PA - Transylvania needed penalty kicks after two overtime periods Friday to get past Swarthmore in NCAA Division III sectional play at Carnegie Mellon.
The Pioneers (16-3-2) are on a 14-match unbeaten streak while 11th-ranked Swarthmore winds up its season with a mark of 16-2-3. Transy will face Calvin (17-4-2) Saturday at 6 p.m. with a spot in the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Tex., on the line.
The Pioneers were in the NCAA Championship field for the fifth time in six years and in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons. The Garnet have been in the field five times, including the past two years in a row. Swarthmore played in the championship game in 1974.
This is Transy's first appearance in the round of eight.
After the teams battled to a 1-1 tie after two overtime periods, the game went into penalty kicks. Jason Fairless was successful, but Swarthmore matched that try. Zach Lange, Peter Mikhail, and Kevin Jones all hit their attempts while Swarthmore missed two straight tries to give the Pioneers a 4-1 win in penalty attempts.
Neither team had a shot on goal in the first half, which ended in a 0-0 tie. Swarthmore had four shots overall to one for the Pioneers. The Garnet had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks in the opening period.
Swarthmore had an excellent scoring chance in the 66th minute when a foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick. But the attempt went wide. A subsequent shot a minute later was high.
Less than two minutes later, Lange's corner kick set up a header by Spero and Transy went up 1-0 at 67:42. Spero's goal slipped in just under the cross bar.
The Garnet tied the game at the 84:57 mark when Gage Newman scored off a rebound of a missed shot by Morgan Langley.
Swarthmore out-shot Transy 18-4 during regulation, but the Pioneers had a 2-1 edge in shots on goal. The Garnet had a 9-2 advantage in corner chances.
Spero's header 8:40 into the first overtime hit the cross bar and a shot by Lange on the rebound was saved by Swarthmore keeper Zachary Weimar. Transy had all three of the shots taken in the first overtime period.
Each team had two shots in the second overtime, all in the final four minutes. Kevin Jones had a final shot for Transy with eight second left in the period, but it was blocked, sending the contest to penalty kicks.
In addition to allowing just one score in the penalty kick period, Transy's Trey Kramer had two saves in goal for the Pioneers.
Messiah defeated Stevens Institute of Technology on penalty kicks to win last year's men's soccer national championship game. This year's national men's and women's semifinals and finals will be held Dec. 4-5 at the Blossom Sports Stadium in San Antonio, Tex.