St. Francis College Men’s Soccer Wins NEC Championship

Saint Francis College SoccerFrom St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights

Loretto, Pa. – The St. Francis Brooklyn men’s soccer team claimed its second consecutive Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament Championship and clinched a trip to the NCAA Men’s College Cup after defeating Saint Francis University 2-1 in overtime. The Terriers have now won six NEC men’s soccer titles, just one behind Fairleigh Dickinson who has seven.

“It’s a great feeling to win today,” said Terriers’ head coach Tom Giovatto. “Saint Francis was excellent today and they gave us a hard time for the entire game. We really kept our shape defensively and didn’t allow them to really penetrate. When they did, Jack {Binks} was there to make the saves. We knew that if we kept it close we would have a chance to capitalize on a set piece and Andy {Cormack} did it again for us. He’s one of the greatest captains in school history. On and off the field, he is one of the biggest reasons why the program has really changed.”

Andy Cormack (Plymouth, England), the NEC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored the golden goal on a free kick from 15 yards out in the 94th minute. The senior captain also scored the golden goal via a free kick in last year’s championship game against Bryant.

“I had an idea that I was going to put the ball around the wall but the keeper didn’t go all of the way back so I took the space that was given to me,” Cormack described. “Compared to last year it was a bit more difficult because the angle wasn’t on my side. Last year I had a bit more space.”

There were few scoring opportunities in the first half as both teams were trying not to concede the first goal. In the 42nd minute there was a hand ball in the box on St. Francis Brooklyn which led to a Saint Francis U penalty kick. NEC Defensive Player of the Year Francis de Vries (Christchurch, New Zealand/Cashmere) converted the PK to give the Red Flash a 1-0 lead.

It looked like the Red Flash would take the lead into the half, but a minute later the Terriers would get a PK of their own after a Saint Francis U hand ball inside of their box. Junior Cyril Coisne (Lille, France/Univ. of Montpelier) converted the penalty to tie the game up at one.

Saint Francis U junior goalkeeper Andrew Garcia (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek Regional) came up big in the 78th minute when a tricky shot from Harry Odell (Manchester, England/Cardinal Langley RC) almost made it into the back of the net but Garcia was able to get a hand on it.

The teams played a very evenly matched game as the Terries had five shots on goal with four corner kicks while the Red Flash had six shots on goal and also had four corner kicks.

In addition to Cormack,Vincent Bezecourt, Coisne, and Binks all made the All-Tournament Team for the Terriers.