Providence Defeats Cincinnati 2-1 to Advance to 2010 BIG EAST Championship Final

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CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

HARRISON, N.J.- Blue Division fifth-seeded Providence recorded its third-straight upset, defeating Red Division No. 2 Cincinnati 2-1 on Friday afternoon at Red Bull Arena to reach the final game of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship and a chance to compete for the BIG EAST Champions Cup. The Friars improve to 12-5-2 this season, while Cincinnati falls to 7-5-7.
 
The Friars scored twice in the first half to gain the advantage; Cincinnati recorded a goal in the second half and had a shot for the tie with in the 90th minute, but wasn't able to get the win.
 
"We've been fortunate enough to be in the semifinals five times in the last eight years, but we've been a little unfortunate advancing," said Providence Head Coach Chaka Daley. "This year the momentum from the games leading up to today helped us weather the storm from a very good Cincinnati team and come away with the win."
 
Cincinnati had its best shot in the first half as senior forward Nick Weightman fired from 18 yards out, but PC goalkeeper Jhojan Obando jumped on the ball to stifle the opportunity.
 
There was an own goal in the 16th minute, putting the Friars up 1-0 as the ball deflected into the net off a Bearcat defender. Seven minutes later, senior midfielder Andrew Sousa scored his fourth goal of the season, adding to the Friars' lead as he found the back of the net. Sophomore midfielder/forward Marc Cintron sent a cross to the center of the box to Sousa, who fired into the left side of the goal. The assist was Cintron's 10th of the season.
 
The Bearcats held a 6-4 advantage in shots and 2-1 edge in corner kicks in the first 45 minutes.
 
In the 68th minute of the second half, junior midfielder Matthew Bahner sent the ball across the goal and senior forward Tristan Watson tapped it into the left corner to put the Bearcats on the board. The goal was Watson's third of the season, and the assist was the sixth of the season for Bahner, who leads UC this season with 20 points.
 
With eight minutes remaining in the second frame, Cincinnati had two chances to try and knot the score. Senior forward Brandon Stelmak shot the ball into the right side of the net, but it was blocked by Obando. It was followed by a shot from freshman defender Alex Hadley that went just wide.
 
Off a throw-in with 38 seconds remaining, sophomore midfielder Andre Sharp launched a shot from 14 yards out, but Obando punched it out, saving the victory for the Friars.
 
Cincinnati held a 19-10 edge in shots and a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.
 
In the second semifinal of the evening, Louisville will match up against Notre Dame.
 
Providence advances to the final on Sunday at noon at Red Bull Arena. The title game will be broadcast live free online via www.BIGEAST.tv as well as numerous regional sports networks including CBS College Sports, SportsNet New York, Cox Sports (New England), Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Time Warner Cable Sports 32 (Wisconsin), Cox Sports Television (La., Fla., Texas, Ariz., Miss., Ga., Okla., Va.), The Comcast Network (Philadelphia), Mid-Atlantic Sports network, WVPBS (West Virginia), Time Warner Cable (Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo) and Wazoo Sports Network (Louisville). The game will also be shown tape delayed on Bright House Sports Network (Tampa) (same day delay, 3:00 p.m.) and FSN Pittsburgh (same day delay, 3:00 p.m.; delay, Nov. 21, 1:00 p.m.). 
 
Updated statistics, notes, recaps and clips are available at www.bigeast.org at Championship Central.