Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls beat New Mexico in men's soccer, reach NCAA's Elite Eight

TAMPA — No. 7 seed USF defeated No. 10 seed and previously unbeaten New Mexico 6-5 on penalty kicks in the third round of the men's NCAA Tournament, delighting an energetic and historic Corbett Soccer Stadium crowd Sunday night.

After 110 scoreless minutes, including two 10-minute overtime sessions, the Bulls won when graduate student goalkeeper Chris Blais stopped Carson Baldinger on a penalty kick, sending the stadium-record 3,592 fans into a frenzy. Moments before, senior midfielder Santi Alexis, who didn't play during regulation or overtime, booted what turned into the winner past Lobos goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez.

USF (13-3-4) faces Creighton at 2 p.m. Saturday in Omaha, Neb., with the winner advancing to the Final Four. Creighton beat UC-Santa Barbara 2-1 Sunday.

New Mexico (17-1-3) was ranked No. 1 in the coaches' poll.

"I'm really pleased with our guys," said USF coach George Kiefer. "And, obviously, you know, Chris Blais, I've got to take my hat off to him with the PKs, to come up with the saves he came up with. I know he took a chance on us in transferring (from Michigan), and it says a lot about him to get us to this point. I'm really happy for him right now."

The teams went into a second round of penalty kicks after remaining tied at 4 through the first round. USF star forward Dom Dwyer, who went third in the first round, had his kick stopped by Rodriguez, forcing Blais to make a stop. He knocked away Blake Smith's kick on the next shot.

"I tried to keep my ground as long as I could, so he didn't know which way I was going," Blais said. "I went the right way. Those are the feelings you work really hard for in college."


New Mexico 0

USF WINS 6-5 penalty kicks

USF Bulls beat New Mexico in men's soccer, reach NCAA's Elite Eight 11/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant (6-1)

    Fivay's Kirbea Harrell leads her team in kills and digs this season. (Lance Rothstein, Times)
  2. NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption


    NEW YORK — Four college basketball coaches were among those facing federal charges Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  3. Steinbrenner alum Erika Peitersen makes instant impact for UT soccer


    TAMPA — University of Tampa women's soccer coach Erin Switalski said it's always difficult to predict a freshman's performance.

    University of Tampa midfielder/forward Erika Peitersen (Courtesy of UT)
  4. Donald Trump calls for NFL to set a rule forbidding players from kneeling during national anthem


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is up and tweeting, and his target is the NFL.

    The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday in Glendale, Ariz. [AP photo]