LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - Shorthanded with injuries to three key starters, the No. 24 Iona College men's soccer team suffered a heartbreaking double overtime loss to Manhattan in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinal matchup at ESPN's Wide World of Sports. The Jaspers' Eugene Heerschapp scored the game's lone goal in the 101st minute to advance his squad to the championship game tomorrow.
Both teams battled a driving rain in the first half with Manhattan out shooting Iona 7-6 in the frame. Freshman GK Borja Barbero stopped three shots for the Gaels while his counterpart George Ellis made one save.
When the sun came out in the second half, neither team could still get on the board. Iona out shot their opponent 10-6 with the assistance of nine second half corner kicks.
After the Gaels dominated the first overtime period with a 6-1 shot advanage, it was Manhattan's early first strike in the second to earn the win. Heerschapp converted a cross from teammate Carlo Gianchino from the top of the box for the game winner.
With injuries to All-MAAC First Teamers Franklin Castellanos and Samuel Adjei and one of its top defenders, Tommy Martin, Iona still out shot Manhattan 22-15 for the game. Only Adjei saw action, however, for just 26 minutes in the second half as he came off the bench for the first time on the season. Fourteen of Iona's shot attempts came from junior Ansger Otto and freshman Brais Garcia with seven a piece.
With a program record 15 wins on the season, the Gaels will have to await the NCAA Selection Show with a marginal chance at an at-large bid to see if their season will continue.