Kozic Boosts Royals Into Landmark Conference Championship Match
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Sophomore forward Kevin Kozic (Raritan, N.J./Immaculata) scored two goals, including the game-winner with less than four minutes to play, as The University of Scranton men's soccer team defeated Catholic University, 2-1, in their Landmark Conference semifinal match at Susquehanna University's Sassafras Field on Saturday morning.
The win advances the third-seeded Royals (14-1-2) to the championship match against top-seeded Susquehanna on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Susquehanna. It's Scranton's first trip to the Landmark Conference championship match since they made back-to-back appearances in 2007 and 2008.
Kozic scored the game-winner on a breakaway after taking a pass from freshman midfielder Michael Romano (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) with 3:56 to play. The goal came seven minutes after Catholic tied the game on a goal by junior forward Ian Smith (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin).
The Royals had taken a 1-0 lead in the 66th minute on Kozic's first goal off an assist from freshman midfielder Nate Doyle (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West). The two-goal game was the first of Kozic's career and gave him nine goals on the season, tied for the team lead.
Romano and Doyle both picked up their second assists of the season.
Senior goalie James Dillon (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) made two saves in the win. It was his first appearance in three weeks after an injury forced him to miss four games. He's now 11-0-2 on the season.
Scranton held an 11-5 advantage in shots, but the second-seeded Cardinals (13-6) had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.
The win for the Royals avenged their only loss of the season, a 1-0 defeat at Catholic on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Susquehanna advanced to the championship match with a 1-0 victory over fourth-seeded Drew University on Saturday. The Royals defeated Susquehanna, 1-0, at Susquehanna on Saturday, Oct. 6. The Crusaders are 16-2 and ranked 20th in the nation in the latest top 25 from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The winner of Sunday's championship earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.