Men’s soccer team set for NCAA tournament

Timothy Corso, Staff Writer

Despite losing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament championship game Sunday, the Gannon University men’s soccer team won’t be calling it quits for the season.

The Knights earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament and will play at 6 p.m. Thursday against Millersville – the same team that beat Gannon in Sunday’s PSAC Tournament final, 2-0, at Mercyhurst.

Gannon, the No. 5 seed in the region, will bring a 16-3-2 record into tournament play. Millersville is the No. 4 seed in the region.

The Gannon women also will move on to the NCAA Tournament, as the Knights will take on Bloomsburg at 3 p.m. Thursday at Bloomsburg. Gannon finished regular-season play 12-3-3.

In the PSAC men’s final, Millersville got off to a fast start with an early corner kick and a pair of shots on goal that were saved by Gannon graduate goalie Max Rocco.

Immediately after, the Marauders took three more shots, but those shots didn’t give Rocco any trouble.

The Knights launched five shots in the first half. However, all the shots were scattered over the 45-minute half and never did they get multiple shots off in quick succession.

Millersville held the clear edge in the first half even though it was scoreless.

A few yellow cards and aggressive offense were the story in the second half as both teams tried to net the game’s first goal.

The Marauders did just that.

In the 67th minute, Bob Hennessey set up Matteo Adiletta for what proved to be the deciding goal in this championship bout.

A few minutes later, Anthony Calamia hit the dagger shot to put Millersville up 2-0 with about 20 minutes left in the match. Calamia was assisted by Matthew Lynch.

The Knights only mustered one shot and corner kick from that point forth as the Marauder defense gave no ground.

For the match, Millersville outshot Gannon 23-8, and held the corner kick advantage 4-1.

Gannon’s Rocco did his best to keep his team in the game. He tallied 11 saves to the Marauders’ one.

Head coach Billy Colton said that while it was rough loss, the team had to look ahead.

“It’s difficult — we obviously just lost the biggest game of the season,” Colton said. “But, we have to quickly forget about it, learn from it and move on. The NCAA tournament is the big one and we want to keep playing for as long as possible and keep this group together.”

Colton further said that the team can only focus on what’s coming next.

“We will get back to practice and work hard for whoever we face and make sure we are fully ready,” Colton said.

While the Gannon men’s team reached the PSAC Tournament finals, the women’s team was derailed in its PSAC Tournament quest, losing to Millersville, 1-0, in Friday’s semifinals.

Morgan Winchock scored the game’s only goal in the 42nd minute of play.