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November 2, 2012

Steven's Men's Soccer Charges to E8 Final with 5-0 Rout of Elmira

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UTICA, N.Y. (November 2, 2012) – Senior Victor Daza (North Plainfield, N.J.) scored twice and freshman Joe Cellitti (Mendham, N.J.) also had four points as the Stevens Institute of Technology men's soccer team topped Elmira College by a  5-0 final on a windy, rainy, bitingly cold day at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium in Utica, New York. The Ducks were forced to host the Empire 8 semifinal match at a neutral site because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken. 

The victory was the 15th-straight for the Ducks and marks the team's sixth-consecutive shutout.
Only two minutes into the game, Zeke Hemme (Louisville, Ky.) controlled ball around the midfield, looked up and found Stephen Dunbar (Johns Creek, Ga.) with a high-arching long ball at the top of the box. Dunbar held off his defender and buried shot on lower-right corner for the go-ahead goal. The assist was Hemme's first helper of the season.

Elmira attempted to counterpunch, and Andre Germano (Campinas, Brazil) had a deep run soon after the Stevens goal. Stevens keeper Paul Killian (Ellicott City, Md.) came out to challenge and delayed the attack enough that the Duck defense was able to recover.
Daza would hit the crossbar on a free kick opportunity, and on a different possession Stevens appeared to score but the Ducks were ruled offside and the count remained 1-0 for most of the opening period.
Elmira had a few good chances in the first half, but the Ducks always seemed to come up with the defensive antidote – such as Harrison Kane's (Fort Worth, Texas) defensive save 35 minutes in - at the last moment to keep Elmira's half of the scoresheet clean.
With one minute remaining in the first half, Cellitti and Zach Adler (McKinney, Texas) engineered a give-and-go on the left side that resulted in Cellitti's seventh goal of the season and gave Stevens a 2-0 halftime lead.
Daza opened up the second half with possession at the top of the box seven minutes in. With three Soaring Eagles draped on him, the senior got off a low shot that squirted through the Elmira keeper for the third Stevens goal of the day.
Just four minutes later, Adler beat his man on the left side and fired a laser off the goalkeeper. It was saved, but it led to a loose ball in the box. This time, Cellitti returned the favor to Adler and set up the Texas native for the 4-0 advantage.
Daza would go on to score his 12th goal of the year. Daza took a pass from Cellitti on the bounce, turned and shot it into the back of the net to cap the scoring for the day.
Sophomore Brian Schaake (Southbury, Conn.) came in to play goalie for Stevens and shut out the Eagles over the final 13 minutes to send the Ducks to the Empire 8 Championship Match.
Stevens will play the winner of the St. John Fisher – Ithaca College semifinal at Utica College on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. for the Empire 8 Championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
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