(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - A classic battle between the Carnegie Mellon University men's soccer team and the visiting Emory University Eagles finished with the Eagles winning 1-0 to force a four-way tie at the top of the University Athletic Association (UAA). By virtue of head-to-head wins against Brandeis and Washington, the Tartans earn the automatic bid for the NCAA Championship. The #6 Tartans close the regular season with a 12-3-1 overall record and a 4-2-1 mark in the UAA as the Eagles finish at 10-6-2 and 4-2-1.
Junior keeper Christopher Madden (Reisterstown, Md./Calvert Hall) made four saves for the Tartans in the first period, all coming in the first 21 minutes of play.
Tartan senior defender Ben Bryant (Toledo, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) had the team's first shot of the period when he riffled a shot outside the 18-yard box that was blocked five yards away by an Eagle defender.
The Tartans were in the Eagle's final third but were unable to get a shot off other than a few free kicks that were wide of the goal.
In the first minute of the second period Madden made a sliding save against a give-and-go attempt by Emory when Connor Curtain slipped a pass to the edge of the six where Dylan Price ran onto it for the shot that Madden saved. Price then had a shot go high off the rebound.
Junior Mike Ferraco (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills) nearly gave the Tartans the lead in the 56th minute when a header attempt from inside the six-yard box was high. Junior Max Tassano (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Lower Merion) started the play when he lofted a pass toward the right corner where junior Scott Gerfen (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) chased it down and headed for the goalline. He then served the ball to Ferraco's head for the attempt.
A minute later, the Tartans watched a shot by Emory's Noah Rosen scream right by the post as the powerful shot was low and through the defense from outside the 18.
In the 63rd minute, junior Chris Wysocki (Newtown, Pa./Germantown Academy) turned on his defender in the center of the field and lofted a pass to junior Cole Christensen (Castle Rock, Colo./Rock Canyon) toward the back post but his touch was just slightly off and Emory's keeper, Abe Hannigan, was able to break-up the play before a defender cleared it for a Tartan corner kick.
A free kick by David Garofalo in the 68th minute was headed just over the crossbar by Andrew Natalino keeping the score knotted at 0-0.
Four minutes later the Eagles were in the Tartans' final third again and were able to break the tie when Sebastian Hardington scored his first goal of the season after Zachary Rosenberg put a cross in the center of the box for him to tap over Madden.
In the 85th minute, Hannigan pulled off a great save diving on a shot by senior John Crawshaw (Carnegie, Pa./Carlynton) from point-blank range after a free kick by Bryant.
The Eagles would then hold off the Tartans for the win and the share of the UAA league title.
NCAA tournament bids come out Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. Watch the selection show to see where the Tartans play next.