The Lancers got their first taste of adversity at this year's tournament Thursday night, but this year the Lancers found a way to not only avoid penalty kicks but also overtime with a brilliant late goal.
Alex Anderson's one-timer in the 87th minute was all CBU needed in a 1-0 semifinal win over Union, putting the defending national champion Lancers in the national championship game for the second straight year.
"We had some adversity but played through it," said Anderson, who scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year. "We just wanted to stay motivated and push through it, and now we got what we were hoping for-a chance to play in the finals."
The Lancers improve to 15-5-2 overall, their third straight year with at least 15 wins.
Union falls to 11-4-5 and will play for third place tomorrow night.
After scoring four goals in last night's quarterfinal win, three in the first 27 minutes, the Lancers struggled to find the finishing touch tonight. They had just three first-half shots.
"The first 10-15 minutes it was back-and-forth and then we started find a rhythm," said CBU Head Coach Ryan Jorden. "I thought we had a majority of the possession, but they (Union) did a good job making it difficult to break down. I thought we did a good job staying patient and being diligent."
Their patience was rewarded with a great buildup that led to the game's only goal.
In the 87th minute, Carlos Figueroa got the ball on the right side. He was able to work his way down the sideline and served a ball into the area and right to Anderson who one-time the cross with the instep of his right foot and into the back of the net.
"Carlos got down the line and whipped a nice ball in and I was able to get on the end of it," said Anderson. "We had chances tonight but just couldn't get on the end of them until that one."
The Lancers outshot Union 12-7, including a 9-3 advantage in the second half. It was the second straight shutout for CBU and its 10th of the season, tying a program record set in 2010 and again last year.
"In a tournament like this, you're happy to avoid overtime and decide it in regulation," said Jorden. "We just kept trying to do what we talk about in training and for the most part tonight, we did it."
The Lancers will play the winner of No. 1-seed Fresno Pacific and fourth-seed Palm Beach Atlantic. The championship game is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (PST).