Stars Dominate Raiders In NACC Title Match
The Dominican University men's soccer team secured their tenth Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Tournament title in 13 years, with a 4-1 win over the top-seeded MSOE Raiders on Saturday afternoon at Viets Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With the win, the Stars punch their ticket to the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship tournament for the second consecutive season and 15th time since becoming eligible for NCAA postseason play in 2002.
"We played really well today," said Erick Baumann, the Stars' head coach in his 24th season, "especially in the first half. The guys came out with a lot of confidence and intensity and it made a huge difference on the field. I'm very proud of our team. We hit a couple of bumps in our journey during the regular season but there was no quit in their determination to win this AQ. They've earned this."
Four different players scored for Dominican in the winning effort, including Josh Prindle who netted the game-winner for the second straight match after tallying the overtime game-winner for Dominican in the NACC Tournament semifinals on Wednesday night. The Stars outshot the Raiders 22-7, putting ten shots on frame while allowing just five on goal. Daniel Dominguez made four saves, improving to 13-5-0 in goal for his freshman season.
Freshman Jesus Lopez opened the scoring for Dominican in the 24th minute after Isaac Perez gained the endline on the left side before centering a pass to the penalty spot that Lopez settled before beating MSOE's Ron Marchionna with a low shot to the far post. The score was the first of the season for Lopez who has played in 16 matches, including eight starts.
Eleven minutes later it was Prindle's turn to crack the scoresheet with a beautiful header after long service into the box from the right flank by Denis Soldo. After the service brought Marchionna to his right across the box, Prindle's header went back to the right post for his sixth goal of the season.
After controlling possession and outshooting the Raiders 10-4 in the first half, Dominican kept the pressure up in the second, adding an insurance tally in the 52nd minute to break the match open. The Stars collected a loose ball out near midfielder before freshman Jonathan Hernandez chipped a long pass over the MSOE backline that sprung Nicolo Vitalefor a breakaway. The junior headed a bouncing ball down to his feet before ripping a shot that beat Marchionna to the near post.
Alexander Lulek then put the exclamation point on the scoring outburst for Dominican in the 75th minute with a diving header on one of Dominican's four second-half corner kicks.
MSOE was able to avoid the shutout when Joey Schauer headed home a Raiders' corner kick in the 76th minute of play.
With the win, Dominican improves to 14-5-1 on the season. The Stars will find out the details of their 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer national tournament appearance on Monday, November 5, when the NCAA releases the tournament bracket field of 62 teams.
"I'd like to thank the great staff I have and all of the fans that have supported us all season long," commented Baumann. "We've had a great traveling crowd during this conference tournament run and we are very appreciative for it."