Messiah converts PKs for sixth men’s soccer crown
Messiah went the extra mile – or at least the extra minutes – in the Division III Men’s Soccer Championship, winning four games in overtime, including a penalty-kick decision in the final against Stevens Institute December 6 at Greensboro.
After tying at 1 in regulation and battling through two scoreless overtimes, Messiah took control in the penalty-kick tiebreaker and rode goalkeeper Nick Blossey’s three straight stops to the school’s sixth men’s soccer title this decade and fourth in the last five years.
Messiah was accustomed to the additional minutes. The Falcons (22-2-2) edged Medaille, 2-1, in the opening round, then won back-to-back double-overtime thrillers against Montclair State in the third round and Christopher Newport in the quarters.
By contrast, Messiah breezed in the semifinals, beating Loras in regulation, 3-0.
In the championship game, Messiah led for 80 minutes until Jeremy Lippel scored for Stevens Institute (19-3-4), which was making its first championship-match appearance. Messiah’s Geoff Pezon, J.D. Binger and Nick Thompson converted penalty kicks in the tiebreaker.
Blossey did not play in regulation but was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. As the team’s designated shootout stopper, the senior Blossey said, “After I realized that my role this year would be as a backup, I dreamed about us getting into the NCAA tournament, or national championship, and it going to PKs. In a way, I feel guilty. It’s almost as if I wished this upon us. But I was 100 percent enthusiastic to help the team win. We always talk about needing every single guy on the team to win a national championship. I knew coming in what I needed to do.”
“We’ve been in shootouts before and decided to go with Blossey,” said Falcons coach Dave Brandt. “Sometimes we go with Jared Clugston, but Nick does well in shootouts and we decided to go with him this week if we got to this situation.”
“It’s the best soccer match that I have ever been a part of,” said Stevens Institute coach Tom O’Donohue. “It has been a great run and I’m proud of our team.”
Messiah 3, Loras 0
Messiah 1 2 – 3
Loras 0 0 – 0
First half: M – Nick Thompson (Geoff Pezon), 12:00.
Second half: M – Danny Thompson (Josh Mull), 50:25; M – Josh Sanders (Pezon), 70:39.
Shots: Messiah 16, Loras 4. Goalkeeper saves: Messiah (Jared Clugston) 2, Loras (Nate DuBois) 5. Corner kicks: Messiah 1, Loras 3. Fouls: Messiah 9, Loras 6.
Stevens Inst. 4, Amherst 1
Stevens Inst. 2 2 – 4
Amherst 0 1 – 1
First half: SI – Todd Sheridan (unassisted), 3:52; SI – Terrence Johnson (Chris Faustino), 16:35.
Second half: SI – Johnson (unassisted), 54:42; A – Jake Duker (Nick Lynch), 76:50; SI – Al Lockhart (unassisted), 77:41.
Shots: Stevens Inst. 5, Amherst 6. Goalkeeper saves: Stevens Inst. (Zach Carr) 3, Amherst (Lennard Kovacs 1, Jeff Grover 0) 1. Corner kicks: Stevens Inst. 0, Amherst 1. Fouls: Stevens Inst. 5, Amherst 4.
Messiah 2, Stevens Inst. 1
Messiah 1 0 0 0 (3) – 1
Stevens Inst. 0 1 0 0 (0) – 1
First half: M – Danny Thompson (Geoff Pezon), 2:52.
Second half: SI – Jeremy Lippel (unassisted), 79:59.
Overtime: Messiah wins on penalty kicks, 3-0.
Shots: Messiah 15, Stevens Inst. 12. Goalkeeper saves: Messiah (Jared Clugston) 2, Stevens Inst. (Zach Carr) 2. Corner kicks: Messiah 5, Stevens Inst. 2. Fouls: Messiah 12, Stevens Inst. 15.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association