After much regular season success, the Old Dominion University men’s soccer team received a bid for the 2012 NCAA college cup to face University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This was their third straight trip to the tournament and their ninth appearance in the last decade. ODU (11-3-3) and UMBC (11-4-6) had only faced one another twice before, one being a draw, and the other a victory for the Monarchs during the 2003 season. Thursday night the Monarchs took to the pitch on what became a cold rainy evening at home against the UMBC Retrievers.Both teams played very hard-fought physical games, and at the end of regulation and two overtime periods the match was still a scoreless draw. The Monarchs lost in heartbreaking fashion when the Retrievers won 4-2 in penalty kicks, “I’ve never liked seeing games end like that, it just doesn’t seem to do the game justice,” head coach Alan Dawson said.He did acknowledge some of the teams struggles offensively. “Penalty kicks are very 50-50, but it’s what it came down to in a very tight game where we didn’t create many clear cut chances,” he said.Senior forward and co-captain Chris Harmon made his presence felt throughout the game and made the first penalty kick for the Monarchs. “When you go to penalty kicks the skill of the game is lost, doesn’t show who is the better team, but hey, you win some you lose some,” he said. Harmon still praised his team and coaching staff. “Anything can happen in this tournament but the coaches did a great job preparing us.”Prior to this game the Monarchs had over a 10 day layoff and some of that showed in the first half. Even though they demonstrated good ball control, the retrievers worked very hard to disrupt the Monarchs offensive rhythm. Very physical play was seen early as the Retrievers committed seven fouls in the first half. “We looked a little nervous and maybe a little bit jumpy,” Dawson said.Even with the slow start some players appreciated the break as the team was a little banged up. Among them was senior forward Yannick Smith who came off the bench. His replacement, sophomore Ivan Millitar, had a very close scoring chance late in the first.