Mustangs Edged By No. 1 Messiah, 1-0, in Conference Semifinals

Mustangs Edged By No. 1 Messiah, 1-0, in Conference Semifinals

GRANTHAM, Pa. - The Stevenson men's soccer team held top-seeded and top-ranked Messiah scoreless for 69 minutes but the Falcons held on for a 1-0 victory in the MAC Commonwealth semifinal contest Thursday evening at Shoemaker Field.

  • The hosts recorded the first five shots of the game, including a shot on goal at the 6:21 mark that was saved by freshman Matt Stellitano.
  • Stevenson (11-8-1) had the first corner kick of the game but could not get off a shot. Just a minute later, the Falcons had a corner kick of their own but Adam Cole sent the shot wide.
  • Stellitano came up with his second save of the half in the 12th minute on a shot by David Alejos.
  • Freshman Sean McDonald recorded the only shot of the half for the Mustangs, firing it on net but it was saved by Connor Bell.
  • In a 1:14 span midway through the half, Messiah (16-0-2) recorded three consecutive shots, including a shot by Luke Brautigam that hit off the crossbar. The Stevenson defense blocked the other two shots.
  • The Mustangs blocked the final two shots by the Falcons in the half, including the final shot in the 38th minute.

  • Just 56 seconds into the second half, freshman Pete Wickiser headed a shot but it was blocked.
  • In the 61st minute, the ball bounced to the feet of Nick West at the top of the box but his shot was blocked out for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner kick, Stellitano punched the ball away before making back-to-back saves in close.
  • Just a few minutes later, Stellitano came up with another save after the Falcons tried to quickly play a free kick and carrying it into the box.
  • After a Messiah corner kick, freshman James Rosa quickly carried the ball down the other way and fired a shot with Bell slightly off his line but sent it wide.
  • At the 68:57 mark, the Falcons broke the scoreless tie on their 19th shot of the game as Luke Groothoff netted his second goal versus the Mustangs this season.
  • With just under 20 minutes to play, the Mustangs earned a corner kick and sent nine players into the box but the curling serve by junior DR Medtart towards the head of sophomore Evan Joseph, was grabbed by Bell.
  • With just over a minute remaining in regulation, Medtart fired in a corner kick that sophomore Tariq Lee headed on net but it was blocked on the goal line and out for another corner. On the ensuing kick, the Mustangs shot it over the crossbar.

  • Messiah outshot Stevenson, 23-8, including 8-1 in shots on goal. The Falcons also had a slight 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
  • Stellitano finished with seven saves, including five in the second half.
  • It is the fifth consecutive shutout for Messiah who has posted 10 shutouts this season.

  • Stevenson will await selection for the ECAC Division III Men's Soccer Championship.