Saints Use Four Second Half Goals to Capture Championship
DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica men's soccer team trailed 1-0 at halftime of Saturday's Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament championship at Saints Field, but scored four goals in the first 17 minutes of the second half to win the title over the University of Minnesota Morris 4-1.
The Saints capture the tournament title for the second straight year and the seventh time overall. With the win, the Saints receive the conference's automatic qualifier into next week's NCAA Division III Tournament. It will be the third tournament appearance in program history.
This was the seventh straight meeting between the Saints and Cougars in the UMAC Tournament Championship. Each team had won three titles coming into today.
St. Scholastica had chances in the first half with a couple of headers by Tom Corcoran off corners, in which, one was denied by the Morris keeper and the second hit the post. Sean Morgan also hit a crossbar for CSS.
The Cougars' first shot of the game would result in a goal as Trent Holmes buried a scramble in front of the CSS net in the 38th minute to make it 1-0. Shots were 6-2 in favor of the Saints in the first half.
The Saints would get the equalizer in the 54th minute when Joe Watt played a cross in and Morris put the ball in its own net for an own goal. In the 60th minute, Andrew Jenkins put the Saints in front when he beat the keeper to the ball and found the back of the net. Sean Morgan had the assist.
In the 62nd minute Corcoran volleyed in a Watt cross to make it 3-1. That goal set the NCAA Division III record for goals in a season by one team (111). Watt was named the UMAC Tournament's Most Valuable Player. He also tied Neil Runbeck's program record with his 157th career point.
Jenkins put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute with a breakaway goal, his 33rd of the season to make the final score 4-1. Ryan Cullen was credited with the assist. Jenkins' 33 goals are the sixth-most in a season in NCAA Division III history.
Adam Hewitt made just one save to earn the win for the Saints. Jacob Borash had seven saves in the loss for the Cougars. Morris' season ends with a 12-9-1 record.
The Saints (17-2-3) will find out on Monday who and where they will be playing in the first round of next week's NCAA Tournament. NCAA.com will air the selection show at noon on Monday.