by John Buckridge
Saturday, Nov. 2, marked the start of the 2013 Skyline Conference Playoff Tournament. The Mount Saint Mary College men’s soccer team entered the tournament as the third seed, finishing the regular season with a strong 10-4-2 record. The Knights would win the game 7-1.
Their first opponent in the quarter finals would be the Golden Eagles of St. Joseph’s College. The Knights came into the game after a tough overtime loss to Purchase College in the last game of the regular season one week earlier. They lost their second seed spot in that game and would need to bounce back and keep their heads up to defeat St. Joseph’s.
St. Joseph’s defeated the Knights, 3-2, in mid-October. The Knights went into the rematch playoff game against the Golden Eagles seeing red and having something to prove.
“We’re on the revenge path”, said senior defender and co-captain Robert Thompson.
Thompson went on to explain if they defeat St. Joseph’s, then the team they would play next in the tournament would be the previously mentioned Purchase Panthers. The Knights would have their work cut out for them.
The Knights did not wait long against St. Joe’s, as they drew first blood by scoring just 11 minutes in. They would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the match. Another first half goal was scored 34 minutes in. Both goals were scored by sophomore midfielder Michael Ennis, from Carmel, and both came off of impressive assists from senior midfielder Brandon Mincher, from Bayport. The first half came to an end with the Knights holding a 2-0 advantage.
The second half of the game would get out of hand for St. Joseph’s. The Knights added five more goals to the scoreboard, the first from junior forward and team goal leader Matt Garcia, from Wappingers Falls, who also contributed two assists on the day. The other goals were provided by junior defender Chris Marchese, from Cold Spring, his fourth goal of the season; and senior midfielder Christian Redl, from Poughkeepsie, scored his second of the year.
Freshman midfielder Matt Minniter, from Mahopac, found the back of the net for the first time in his collegiate career in the second half off an assist from freshman defender Brett Fucheck, from Newburgh. And finally, the Knights also scored off an own goal. It was just that kind of day for the Golden Eagles.
As senior and starting goalkeeper Matt Darling, from Staatsburg, was red carded during a tough overtime loss to Purchase the week prior, he could not participate in the playoff game against St Joseph’s. It was a high cause for concern for Coach Longacre and his Knights. However, freshman and back-up goalie Tyler Biscone , from Garden City, did a superb job filling in for Darling, recording two huge saves to pick up his first career victory and send the Knights to the semifinals.
St. Joseph’s would add a second half goal, but to no avail, as the game was already virtually in hand for the Knights, who would eventually win 7-1. The Knights doubled the Golden Eagles shots-on-goal total 18-9, as the Eagles edged out the corner kicks 4-3. It was a great way to start out the tournament and move onto the next round with momentum.