Friday, November 3, 2017

Lycoming Warriors set for MAC Commonwealth Championship

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Looking to win their third MAC Commonwealth title in five years, the second-seeded Lycoming College men’s soccer team heads to Grantham, Pa., to take on top-seeded Messiah College in the MAC Commonwealth Championship on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Shoemaker Field.

The winner of the game will earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament, while the loser will hope for an at-large bid, as both schools are listed at the top of the final NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region rankings with Messiah first and Lycoming second.

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

The Warriors, ranked 12th in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches and fifth by, and Falcons, who are third in the United Soccer Coaches poll and first in, have faced off in two of the last three conference championship games, with each team winning once. In 2014, Messiah prevailed with a 4-0 win while the Warriors came back in 2015 and earned the 1-0 win. The teams also met in the conference semifinal in 2013, with the Warriors prevailing, 5-4, in penalty kicks after a 0-0 double overtime draw.

The two teams faced off in a battle of top-eight ranked teams on Oct. 7, with Messiah coming away with a 1-0 win as Danny Brandt scored the game-winner in the 12th minute.

The Warriors are coming off a convincing 5-1 win over Lebanon Valley, the ninth-ranked team in the Mid-Atlantic Region, in the MAC Commonwealth Championship semifinal. Four players scored in the opening 41 minutes as junior Sainclair Tueno (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair), senior Abdullahi Abdi (Seattle, Wash./James Garfield), senior Kyle Stettenbauer(Columbia, Pa./Hempfield) and sophomore Daniel Anwanwan (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson) all scored first-half goals. Senior Duc Momo (Silver Spring, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) added a second-half goal.

Lycoming is led by a program-record six All-MAC Commonwealth selections. Tueno, Abdi, senior Jordan Logan (Oxford, Pa./Oxford Area) and senior Kyle Thomas (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) all garnered first-team honors while Stettenbauer and junior goalkeeper Chris Solecki (Hainesport, N.J./Lenape) earned honorable mention honors. Tueno’s nine goals, third in the conference, and junior Jake Webb (Fairless Hills, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) has six assists, the fifth most in the conference, to lead the offense. Solecki and the defense have given up just nine goals in 19 games this year. Solecki has the 11th-best goals against average (0.472) and the 17th-best save percentage (0.871) in the nation.

Messiah (18-1 overall) is looking to repeat as MAC Commonwealth Champions after posting a 5-0 win over Arcadia in the conference semifinals. They are led by six First Team All-MAC Commonwealth selections in Kirby Robbins, Dakota Rosenberg, Colby Thomas, Nick West, Danny Brandt and Connor Bell. Robbins was named the conference’s offensive player of the year while Rosenberg was the defensive player of the year. Robbins (12 goals) and West (11) are 1-2 in the conference, respectively, in goals scored.

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