This past Saturday, the UMW men’s soccer team hosted Marymount University for the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference Championship at the Battleground Athletic Complex.
UMW came out prepared to take down Marymount and advance to the next round of CAC play. The Eagle men finished victorious topping Marymount with a final score of 2-1 after a pair of nerve racking overtime periods.
As neither team scored in the first half, nerves and friction began to escalate. According to UMW men’s soccer fan and sophomore Emily Horin the game was intense to watch.
“Between the aggressive play and the red card on Marymount’s player along with the lack of goals, the game had me on the edge of my seat,” Horin said.
Following Marymount’s first goal, the trailing UMW men knew they had to come back and carry out moves they had already been making though lacked completion.
“Our strategy was to possess the ball and build through our center midfielders John Tarley and Jae Park, which we did pretty well at in the second half,” said senior co-captain Emmett Rutkowski.
About 10 minutes later, the Eagle’s were successful in tying up the game at one goal a piece. UMW connected a corner kick from by sophomore John Tarley and headed in for a goal by freshman Duke Mensah-Abrampah.
For the next eight minutes of regulation play, both teams battled but the score was unchanged.
With regulation play over and overtime beginning, the UMW men were ready to shut down Marymount and leave nothing to chance.
“Our team had the momentum going into overtime as we had just scored and we were ready to win in – we did not want to go into a penalty shootout as luck is involved more,” said Rutkowski.
Ending the game in the second overtime, UMW was able to maneuver the ball from junior T.L. Tutor to Mensah-Abrampah off a counter attack. The final goal sent UMW fans into a roar and UMW teammates stormed the field in a frenzy.
“We should have beaten them earlier in the game, but they were playing very well and we could not finish, which sometimes happens. It was nice to finally put it together in the last minutes of the game,” said Rutkowski.
Since Saturday, the UMW men’s soccer team played York College in York, Pa in the CAC semi-finals. The men fell to the nationally fifth-ranked York Spartans at a score of 4-1. The Eagle men complete their season with a record of 12-7-1.