Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Warriors set for MAC Commonwealth Semifinals with Lebanon Valley

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Looking to advance to the MAC Commonwealth Championship game for the fourth time in five years, the second-seeded Lycoming College men’s soccer team will take on third-seeded Lebanon Valley College in a MAC Commonwealth Championship semifinal on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2:30 p.m. at the Shangraw Athletic Complex.

As it is a MAC Championship event, all attendees will need to pay admission. Tickets for the game will be available at the Mulberry Street gate for $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. Children under six are free. Lycoming College students will also be admitted free with their student ID. Long-sleeve championship T-shirts will be available for $18.

The Warriors (16-2 overall, 7-1 MAC Commonwealth), the conference’s No. 2 seed, just wrapped up a historic regular season in which they won a program-record 16 regular season games and the team is currently ranked sixth in the D3soccer.com poll and 12th in the United Soccer Coaches rankings.

The Warriors have been ranked throughout the season, rising to a program-record high fourth in the United Soccer Coaches poll and third in the D3soccer.com poll earlier in the season. They are also ranked second in the NCAA’s Mid-Atlantic Region rankings, just behind the top seed in the Commonwealth, Messiah.

The Warriors are led by an opportunistic offense, which ranks second in the conference in goals scored per game (2.39) and a stingy defense that has allowed just eight goals on the season (0.44 average), also good for second in the conference. Leading the offense is junior defender Sainclair Tueno (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair), who leads the team and is third in the conference with eight goals. He is the only defender in the top-five in the MAC Commonwealth in scoring.

Senior Abdullahi Abdi (Seattle, Wash./James Garfield) is second on the team with 13 points and five goals. Three other Warriors have also accounted for 10 points in seniors Kyle Mizell(Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley), who has four goals and two assists, and Keenthy Yeboah(Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair), who has five goals. Junior defender Jake Webb(Fairless Hills, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) leads the team and is third in the conference with six assists while adding two goals.

Junior goalkeeper Chris Solecki (Hainesport, N.J./Lenape) has the best save percentage (.871) in the conference and the 19th-best in the nation. His 0.472 goals-against average is second in the conference and 14th in Division III.

The Flying Dutchmen (11-4-1 overall, 5-3 MAC Commonwealth) are coming off one of their best regular seasons in the 13-year tenure of head coach Charlie Grimes, as the team is ranked eighth in the NCAA’s Mid-Atlantic Region rankings. Fourteen players have scored this year for a Dutchmen offense that averages 2.38 goals per game, led by six goals and four assists from Tyler Skye. Senior goalkeeper Cam Avery has developed into one of the conference’s best, posting a 0.94 goals-against average and a 0.769 save percentage this year.

In the first meeting with Lebanon Valley, the Warriors came away with the 2-0 road win, as Webb scored in the first half on a free kick and Abdi added a second-half goal. When the Warriors were leading by just a goal late in the first half, Solecki made a sprawling penalty kick save to preserve the lead, helping him earn United Soccer Coaches Division III National Player of the Week honors.

The winner of Wednesday’s match will move on to the Commonwealth Conference Tournament Championship, where they will face the winner of the Arcadia/Alvernia at No. 1 seed Messiah semifinal. The game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 4, at a site and time to be determined.

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