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Cougar men win shootout to advance in UMAC playoffs

Morris, Minn. - For the fifth straight season, the University of Minnesota, Morris men's soccer team has advanced to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament championship game, following their dramatic shootout win over Northwestern Tuesday in the semifinals.

And for the fifth time they will again face St. Scholastica.

Morris and Northwestern played to a 0-0 tie after regulation, and after two sessions of overtime neither team could gain the upper hand. Then finally in the shootout - once down to their last shooter - the Cougars went ahead as Ebrima Badgie found the back of the net for 2-1 shootout win, sending them to the championship game.

An exciting and even game, the scoring chances were limited for both teams, as there were just 19 combined shots, and only four on goal. Physical play thoughout the match signified the game's importance, as each team left everything they had out on the field.

Easily the closest of the three matches between the teams, the Cougars had to work extra after beating the Eagles 1-0 and 3-1 in regulation during the regular season. Overall, the Cougars are now 7-1-1 in their last nine matches with Northwestern.

It goes as a tie in the books, but for four Cougar seniors their last game at home won't just be their last. They live to fight for at least one more, playing Saturday in the championship game at 2 p.m. on Saints Field at St. Scholastica.

A win in the championship game would be the Cougars' first since the 2008 season - the current seniors' freshman year - but would also mean a berth in the NCAA Tournament, a first for the Cougars.