SEATTLE – Lipscomb goalie Luke Wilson sat on the bench for most of Thursday night’s first-round NCAA tournament game at Washington.
His services simply weren’t needed as senior keeper Chris Zappia made eight saves to keep the game scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods.
But Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow let Wilson, a known penalty-kick save specialist, loose with the game on the line, and the decision paid off.
“Chris had such a good game… we asked Chris at the end of the game, it was his call,” Morrow told LipscombSports.com. “His words were, ‘Let Luke do what he does.’”
Wilson stopped shots from Washington’s Corban Anderson and Charlie Ostrem while five of his Lipscomb teammates buried their attempts to give the Bisons a 5-4 shootout victory.
“It’s hard and it takes a lot of confidence and belief in yourself,” Morrow said of stopping penalty kicks. “I couldn’t do it, but apparently Luke’s really good at it. I couldn’t be more proud of Luke’s performance.”
Logan Paynter, Austin Eager, Louis Robinson, Ben Locke and John Wynia each converted penalty kicks to lift the Bisons to the upset.
“It was an ugly game and definitely not the way we wanted it to play out, but our guys battled,” Morrow said. “I told the Pac-12 [Network] crew yesterday that one thing they might not know about this team is that we can play the beautiful game, but we can also win dirty. I think that is what it was tonight.”
Washington (12-8) dominated possession for much of the contest and outshot Lipscomb 14-5. But between Zappia’s performance in net and Lipscomb’s aggressive play – they finished with 17 fouls and four yellow cards – the Bisons were able force penalty kicks.
“[Zappia] was fantastic tonight, and I thought it was one of the best nights of his career,” Morrow said. “Early in the season when we were going through a tough stretch, Chris would make all the saves he was supposed to make, but he just couldn’t come up with a game-winner.
“Tonight, and at Louisville, and [in] the second half of the season, that has been a different story and great goalkeeping has turned our season around.”
Lipscomb is the only mid-major, and one of just nine NCAA schools, to advance its men’s and women’s soccer teams to the second round of the NCAA tournament this season. The Lady Bisons topped Mississippi State 1-0 in the final minute of Golden Goal overtime last Friday.
The Bisons (10-9) will make the cross-country trip to Orlando to take on No. 9 Central Florida on Sunday. Kickoff for the second-round match is set for 5 p.m. at the UCF Soccer and Track Complex.
Highlights from Lipscomb’s upset can be found below: