Men’s soccer falls in conference semi-finals

Despite their effort, the men’s soccer team ended their playoff run in the semi-finals against Misericordia on Nov. 6. The eventual MAC champions beat the Eagles 4-2 in penalty kicks, stopping Eastern’s advance in the MAC playoffs. The Eagles finished the year at 11-7-2.

Four away games highlighted the end to Eastern’s season. On Oct. 30, Eastern came back for a late win against DeSales, 4-2. After the Bulldogs gained a 2-0 lead in the first half, junior Alex Clark scored Eastern’s first goal of the game, giving Eastern hope to fight back. The tying goal was deflected off a DeSales defender, thanks to junior Nate Goble’s quick thinking. First-year Alex Schweitzer and sophomore Kyle Hurst scored Eastern’s last two goals.

A tight game between Eastern and Misericordia on Nov. 1 foreshadowed the same teams’ fight in post-season. Heading into overtime tied 2-2, junior Terry Fry, assisted by sophomore Phil Mantua, scored the final goal, propelling Eastern into the battle for the championship.

Eastern’s Nov. 4 game against Alvernia ended 2-1 in overtime. Fry scored both of Eastern’s goals, pushing Eastern past the MAC quarterfinals and headed to Misericordia for their final game.

The game went back and forth between the Eagles and the Cougars, neither team making headway in the match. Senior Michael Dorsch saved every shot that came his way, including a close-call penalty kick in the 77th minute. After two overtime periods passed, the game went to penalty kicks where Misericordia’s senior line-up won.

Despite their season being cut short, two members of the team were honored by the Freedom Conference as All-Conference selections. Fry was recognized as a forward on the first team, due to his 15 overall goals and 32 points this season. Fry scored six winning goals, three of which were in overtime. Mantua was given recognition on the second team as a midfielder for his team-leading four assists.

Although their season is over, Eastern’s men’s soccer will continue to look to the future for more wins and more outstanding seasons. Four seniors graduate this year, but a strong core of players will remain for the 2009 season.

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