Men's Soccer Falls To Catholic, 1-0, Leaving Royals' Playoff Fate In Hands Of Cardinals
The University of Scranton men's soccer team entered Saturday with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win over Catholic at Fitzpatrick Field. But a 1-0 defeat means the Royals now need help from the Cardinals to qualify for the Landmark Conference playoffs.
The loss leaves Scranton (10-3-4, 3-3-1 Landmark) with 10 points and tied for third with Juniata. The Eagles hold the tiebreaker over Scranton by way of their 1-0 overtime victory over the Royals on Sept. 28. Both teams are just one point ahead of Merchant Marine, which has one match remaining – Monday at 7:30 p.m. against Catholic. Drew is also tied with Merchant Marine, but has no remaining conference matches.
Scranton needs a Catholic victory or a draw on Monday to earn the fourth seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs. Should Merchant Marine win, the Mariners would jump into third place, leaving Scranton and Juniata tied for fourth, and Juniata holding the tiebreaker for the fourth seed.
Saturday's match was a defensive-minded affair with a total of just five shots on goal. After the match was scoreless at halftime, Catholic (12-3-2, 5-0-1 Landmark) scored the match-winning goal 7:50 into the second half when sophomore midfielder Tyler Zimmerman (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) sent a cross from the left side to the far post, where senior forward Chris Larson (Nassau, Bahamas/Portsmouth Abbey) tapped it in.
Needing a victory to earn a playoff berth, the Royals kept the pressure on late in the second half, outshooting the Cardinals 6-2 in the second half and 11-5 for the match. But they managed just three shots on goal and none found the back of the net. Senior midfielder Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) led the Royals with four shots, including one on goal.
Catholic secured the top seed for the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs with the victory. They will host the fourth seed in a semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 7, at a time to be determined. Susquehanna has earned the second seed and will host the third seed, also on Thursday, Nov. 7. The winners will meet in the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the site of the highest remaining seed at a time to be determined.
Prior to Saturday's match, the Royals honored eight seniors – defender Stephen Kilty (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West), forward Derek Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights), forward Nick Paganelli (Ossining, N.Y./Fordham Prep), midfielder Jimmy Peeler (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area), midfielder Colin McFadden (Ventnor City, N.J./St. Augustine Prep), defender Jared Miranda (Westbury, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), forward John Spadaro (Stony Point, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) and midfielder Paul Trisuzzi (Morris Plains, N.J./Parsippany).