Niagara headed to NCAA Tournament for first time

[MAAC TOURNAMENT] Bryan Da Cruz's golden goal in the 102nd minute gave Niagara a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Loyola (Md.) in the 2012 MAAC Tournament final on Saturday evening to earn the program’s first ever MAAC title and first berth into the NCAA Tournament.

The win extended NU’s unbeaten streak to five games, improving its overall record to 13-1-4. It was redemption for the Purple Eagle seniors for their heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the Greyhounds as freshmen in the 2009 MAAC final. 

The game looked to be headed to a shootout when Da Cruz, who had the best chance for the Purps in the first overtime period when his free kick skimmed over the cross bar, won the game with a shot from 12 yards out that beat Thurman Van Riper to the near post.

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