LMU Advances To National Championship Match
November 30, 2007
Orange Beach, Ala. – Lincoln Memorial University senior Guilherme Alves used a cross from fellow senior Marcelo Galafassi in the 109th minute to score what is probably the biggest goal in program history as the Railsplitters defeated #18 Montevallo 1-0 in double overtime in the NCAA Division II semifinals on Friday.
The Railsplitters (20-3-1) were playing in the semifinals for the second consecutive year and were facing Montevallo, a foe they knew well from their days in the Gulf South Conference. LMU's last game as a member of the GSC was against UM in the 2005 GSC Championship, which LMU won 2-1.
Montevallo (18-4-2) came out strong early and went at the Railsplitters by controlling both possession of the ball and the tempo of the game. The Falcons outshot LMU 7-2 in the opening half.
Lincoln Memorial came out in the second half and slowly began to take charge, forcing Montevallo to play more defensively and allowing the nation's third-ranked offense to get on track and create scoring opportunities.
Nearing the end of the second overtime it began to look like the game would be going to penalty kicks. Due to the length of the match LMU coach Helio D'Anna had been forced to go to the bench to get some rest for his starters. At the 107:34 mark he re-inserted Alves into the lineup after taking him out late in the second half for a breather. The strategy worked as 28 seconds later LMU freshman Jemal Talore took a shot on goal that was saved by UM keeper Melford James Jr. Galafassi then took the deflection and crossed it over to a streaking Alves who put it past the keeper on the right side to give LMU the 1-0 victory.
LMU had four saves in the contest, two by goalkeeper Brent Cole and two team saves.
James had seven saves on the day for the Falcons, who end their season with the loss.
The Railsplitters will now go somewhere that no other team in school history has gone before as they will play in the NCAA Division II Championship on Sunday against #4 Franklin Pierce, who advanced to the championship on penalty kicks. The match begins at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 1:00 p.m. Central time.