Max Walcott scored the winning goal early in the second overtime Saturday as the Hartwick College men’s soccer team clinched a Mid-American Conference playoff spot with a 2-1 victory over visiting Northern Illinois on Elmore Field.
After winning their conference finale, the Hawks (5-7-4, 3-2-1) moved into a tie for second in the MAC standings with Western Michigan. Both teams have 10 points, two behind first-place Akron.
The Zips play Western Michigan for the regular-season title this weekend, meaning Hartwick likely will be seeded third for the four-team MAC playoffs.
“The road to securing our playoff berth has had its up and downs,” Hartwick coach John Scott said. “But as a coaching staff, we never doubted our team’s ability to make it there after our six MAC games. This has been a true team effort.”
Bowling Green will visit West Virginia on Friday to determine the fourth playoff team. The winner will advance to the playoffs as both have seven points this season.
Hartwick scored the last two goals Saturday to earn its first playoff appearance since 2009. Hartwick tied it in the 63rd minute on a goal by Jhevaughn Beckford and won in double overtime, when Walcott slipped a left-footed volley under the crossbar to cap a corner-kick play. Chris Walter’s corner kick found the head of Marc Russell, who headed it to Walcott from the corner of the 6-yard box.
Bertrand Gaschot scored in the 54th minute for the Huskies (4-12, 0-4), who gave up the equalizer 1 minute, 20 seconds after Beckford entered the game for the first time.
Mateo Munarriz made one save in goal for the Hawks, who close their regular season Tuesday against visiting Bucknell. Seniors Will Broomfield, Tim Crawford and Matthew Robertson will be honored in a ceremony before the match.