Men’s Soccer Heads to Championship Game for Third Time in Four Years
Erin Alburtus, Tower Staff
November 3, 2011
Filed under Sports
CUA men’s soccer downed Susquehanna University at home Tuesday evening in the semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament. They headed into the game as the number one seed and were able to prove their standings in an impressive way, ending the match with a score of 3-1.
Mike Brennan was the first to score for the Cards, and despite several shots on goal from the team, the score remained 1-0 during the first half.
Brennan entered the second half strong and was able to net the ball a second time, bringing the score to 2-0. Afterward the second half remained scoreless until the end, when Kevin Romano scored on a penalty kick, giving the Cards a 3-0 advantage.
With a little over 10 minutes left, Andrew Hayes scored for the Susquehanna Crusaders. The Crusaders were no match for Catholic, and the game ended with a final score of 3-1, sending the Cards to the championship. Coach Travis Beauchamp hopes to maintain this strong pace in the finals.
“Great win for us and obviously we are very excited for Saturday. We had a good second half and if we can get that for a full 90 minutes we’ll be tough to beat,” said Beauchamp.
The Cardinals also faced Drew University on Saturday in Cardinal Stadium. It was a grueling battle that ended in a draw in double overtime. The tie set Catholic as the top seed for the Landmark Conference Tournament.
“The Drew game was a great test for us. They are a very good team and they play a very physical style. For us it took a bit of getting used to because we haven’t played a team of that caliber in a couple of weeks. I thought the guys responded well and we got a good result,” said Beauchamp.
CUA’s Brennan was able to get on the board early, scoring in the third minute of the first half. Despite persistent offensive pressure from Drew, Catholic was able to end the first half with a 1-0 lead.
The second half was full of shots from both teams, neither of which found the back of the net. The high-intensity game led to a foul inside the box in Drew’s favor just before the 73:00 minute mark. Drew’s Kevin Veliz took the shot and tied the game at 1-1, sending the game into overtime.
Drew was the only side to shoot in the first overtime, but the Cards held their ground, and the score remained 1-1 when the referee’s whistle blew, signaling the end of the first overtime session. Another 10-minute session immediately followed.
Despite pressure and intensity from both sides, neither was able to put the ball away, ending a long afternoon in a 1-1 tie.
“Certainly we would have liked to win the game, but under the circumstances a tie was enough for 1st in the regular season,” commented Beauchamp.
Before the game began, seniors Mike DiMarco and Brian Maher were honored for their persistence and hard work over the last four years for the Cardinals. The two have led the team to 55 wins, four Landmark Tournament appearances, and two conference championships. They hope to add a third championship this weekend.
This week, six Cardinals players were named to All-Conference teams. Brennan achieved First Team All-Conference as well as Offensive Player of the Year. He led the conference in offensive points with 29 and goals with 13. He also led in game-winning goals with a total of five.
Michael DiMarco and Kevin Romano joined Brennan on the First Team All-Conference. Hunter Horvath, Torsten Meuschke, and Ethan DaPonte made the Second Team All-Conference.
The championship game will take place this Saturday against Merchant Marine Academy, whose team defeated Drew University 3-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday. The game will be at the Dufour Center at 2:30pm.