Men’s soccer falls in first round of NCAA Tournament

Mandela Namaste

Justin Adams ’22 played aggressively, with two shots in the Ephs 1-2 loss in the NCAA first round. Photo Courtesy of Sports Information.

Last Saturday, men’s soccer lost to Elizabethtown 1-2 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Williams opened the scoring in the contest when Andrew Mathew ’20 launched a throw in 30 yards out to the left of Elizabethtown goalie Brian Gately. The first of three consecutive Eph headers off the throw in came from Will Felitto ’22, who sent the ball to Chris Fleischer ’20. Fleischer flicked the ball to the rushing Demian Gass ’20, who then headed the ball into the goal. The Gass tally came at 21:29.

The Eph lead held up for 20 minutes, until the Blue Jays’ Gilbert Waso tied the game at 41:29. The ball was sent into the box, bounced off several players and came to Waso about nine yards out to the right of Eph goalie Aaron Schein ’19. Waso one-timed a shot that hit the left post. The ball caromed directly back to him, and this time he managed to strike a shot past Schein inside the left post.

After the first 45 minutes of play, both teams had recorded three shots on goal, and both Schein and Blue Jay netminder Brian Gately notched two saves. Elizabethtown held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.

In the 55th minute, Elizabetown broke the tie in dramatic fashion. Jorge Sanchez wove his way past two Eph defenders and slid the ball under Schein at 55:38, putting the Blue Jays up one. Williams threatened in the 61st minute when Justin Adams ’22 got a good look from the top of the box and ripped a shot on goal, but Gately was on it and caught the ball against his chest. Waso nearly brought the score to 3-1 in the 77th minute with a header that was just wide to the right. Moments later, co-captain Scatt Macdonald ’19 blistered a direct kick on goal from about 33 yards out to the left of Gately, but the shot went just over the crossbar.

In the 79th minute, Gass collected a loose ball in the box, but his shot from six yards away was blocked. In the 88th minute, Bobby Fabricant ’20 tried to redirect a rebound, but his attempt went just wide on the right side

Both teams had nine shots in the second half, and the Blue Jays had two corner kicks, while the Ephs had one. Gately made five saves and allowed one goal to secure the win. Schein made four saves and allowed two goals.

“We were certainly proud of our ability to get to the finals of the NESCAC Tournament this year and were disappointed to not have given up any goals all tournament and then lose on penalty kicks,” Gass said. “Nonetheless, getting an NCAA bid for the first time in four years was a great honor and, in my view, signified a turning point for the program.”

This was the last game in Eph uniform for Schein, Sean Dory ’19, Macdonald, co-capatin Greg Andreou ’19, Eric Hirsch ’19, Ian Kagame ’19 and Paul Griffith ’19.