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FINAL: NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Final – Barry 2, West Chester 1

NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Final

FINAL SCORE: Barry 2, West Chester 1

BOX SCORE 

 

FOLLOW GAME UPDATES HERE

 

I will have post-game reaction, and a brief game recap. I’ll be catching up with Will Marshall after the game as well.

2:04 – it’s over — Barry’s come-from-behind effort holds up!

It’s the first-ever National Championship for the Bucs. Tough loss for West Chester — and Pittsburgh native Will Marshall.

 

1:42 – Little mix-up on ball played to edge of box between Barry GK Sordi and defender — but WCU’s Colin Muller can’t get to ball quick enough by end line to put it into open frame as Barry defenders hurry back to deny shot.
75′ 1-0 WCU

1:36 – Another pair of corners. de Jesus gets head on second one, but goes over bar.  70′

1:34 – Barry with a pair of set piece chances.
Free kick from close range is deflected.
Then corner slides past everyone — but Ronaldo de Jesus almost pulls off a miracle scissor kick. Not quite ‘Ronaldo’ execution though as he slips.
68′

1:25 – Barry knocking it around midfield nicely, but settling for long crosses and shots. Few advances in box, and there are WCU bodies everywhere Marshall just handled another long ball on goal. 60′ Still 1-0 West Chester.

1:10 – second half has started

12:55 – HALF still 1-0 WCU

12:54 – Barry with another free kick chance as clock ticks down — but another ball that gets through without connecting.

12:45 – Barry’s had a few corner chances — and a free kick — all from Lucas Russo, but West Chester doing decent work in box. Marshall punched one away and grabbed another.  5′ Still 1-0 WCU.

12:29 – GOAL – West Chester, 1-0

Brett Miller — connecting on a header with Jason Pixley

12:17 – Barry with pretty good pressure, and few balls in box. Francisco Greco gets on the end of a bending cross with first shot on target about 16 yds out — tries to one-time it — but GK Will Marshall is there for a pretty easy pick up. 0-0 12′

12:05 – we’ve kicked off

WCU wearing all white kits, Barry in red/white top with black short, red socks.

11:57 am – Line-ups being announced now as the rain picks up.

For line-ups — and stats — click here.

 

PSN Coverage:

John Krysinsky – Reporting

Ed Thompson – Photography

We’ll have gameday updates here on this blog.

GAME PREVIEW:

#23 West Chester (PA), 16-2-5 vs #20 Barry (FL), 15-4-3

12 Noon (EST) – Pittsburgh, PA – Highmark Stadium

NCAA Live Stats / Scoreboard / WATCH 

We will have a first-time NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer National Champion crowned at Highmark Stadium as two teams that were not highly seeded when this tournament began, have made it to the final.

Going way back in its storied history as a college soccer program, West Chester has won a National Title, but that was a long time ago (in 1961), when men’s soccer was not split into three divisions the way it’s set up now. That was the last time a PA school has won a National Championship at the DI or DII level.

Now, the Golden Rams will have a chance to win a title in its home state.  Standing in the way, will be a tough group from Florida.

Both teams have arrived at this point by winning numerous close hard-fought contests, with solid defending and goalkeeping — including Thursday’s National Semifinals.

Barry Bucs celebrate after winning National Semifinal (photo – Ed Thompson)

Barry’s survival in PKs against Fort Hays State was the second time in three matches that the Bucs have gone that route. They got past Sunshine State Conference rival Lynn in the Sweet Sixteen in a match that was extended to penalties, winning 4-1 PK count.

Thursday after 90 minutes of regulation, and another 30 of overtime against Fort Hayes State they needed a shootout to decide the winner. This contest of penalties extended to seven rounds, with Barry’s keeper Marco Sordi coming up with three PK saves. In the playoffs, remarkably Sordi has now faced 18 penalty kick shots — only allowing opponents to score eight times.

West Chester survived a gauntlet of teams in the Eastern Regionals — including a 1-0 win over NCAA DII defending champion Charleston, and are

On Thursday, the Golden Rams fell behind 1-0 in the 56th minute, but showed they can score big goals when needed. Eric Greer‘s first career goal came five minutes later, then shortly after the match went to overtime, Jason Pixley. 

Will Marshall (photo – Ed Thompson)

In goal, in his return to his hometown of Pittsburgh after playing his first three seasons of college eligibility at Pitt, Will Marshall came up big for West Chester — making five saves.

Despite being out-possessed — and out shot overall (15-10) — West Chester were more efficient in beating Cal Poly Pumona on Thursday, with 6-5 edge with shots on target.

This match may play out the same for West Chester, which have been content to counter-attack through much of the postseason. Barry is a strong possession team, and have scored 43 of 45 goals this season on assists.

Barry will be making its first championship match appearance since 2000 when the Bucs lost to Cal State Dominguez Hills 2-1 in four overtimes.

West Chester, meanwhile, is participating in its third straight tournament (fourth overall).

 

STATS THAT MATTER

GOALS SCORED: Barry 45, WCU 39

ASSISTS: Barry 43, WCU 28

GOALS PER GAME: Barry 2.05, WCU 1.70

GOALS ALLOWED:  Barry 20, WCU 14

 

THEY SAID IT:

Barry Goalkeeper Marco Sordi, who made three PK saves on Thursday.

“There is no strategy to be honest. You just try to not get scored on,”

“I am really proud of our guys and how they continued to fight throughout the game (against Cal Poly Pomona). We never buckled, and despite facing a lot of adversity, we just kept battling and came out on top. The entire team played very well, and Marshall was huge in goal with Pixley coming through in the clutch as he has throughout the season.”

West Chester Head coach Michael Benn

“They are incredibly great leaders who have helped revive a program that has history, but like anything you sometimes have to remind yourself what it takes to be special.”

“For us, the fear is gone, Beating Notre Dame, beating Charleston, there’s nobody right now left that we can’t beat. We are going to do what got us here. We’ll be highly organized. We’ll battle for 90 minutes for more.”

West Chester (and former East Allegheny, Allegheny Force & Pitt) keeper, Will Marshall

Barry head coach Steve McCrath on contributions from Sordi and senior Stephen Kosmala, who scored Barry’s first PK in Thursday’s penalty kick shootout.

PRE-GAME TWEETS

Barry’s boys making news in Miami…

 

NCAA Tournament History:

Barry has participated in 10 NCAA tournaments and is 9-9-2 in those appearances.

West Chester is 5-3-0 in four tournament appearances …

Marshall cherishes return to hometown vying for NCAA DII title with West Chester

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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