The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) men’s soccer team finished off yet another impressive regular season. Their overall record of 11-3-4 and in conference record of 4-2-1 were both good enough to secure them the number two seed in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament. This slated them to host number seven seeded Penn State Harrisburg (Harrisburg) in the opening round of the tournament.
The last home match of the regular season also happened to be against Harrisburg. This Oct. 20 matchup contained a huge crowd due to both the Hawktoberfest activities and the Senior Day festivities. All of the added fanfare led to a tremendous day for SMCM, as they easily cruised to a 4-1 victory. In the first half of the game they jumped ahead early with three goals in just over a five minute span. The first two of these were scored by junior Brad Moore, who also went on to win the CAC player of the week award. Sophomore Roshawn Panton netted the third goal of the game to stretch the lead to 3-0. After a goal scored by Harrisburg late in the first half, Panton added his second goal of the day to stretch the lead to 4-1 in the second, according to SMCM Athletics.
SMCM outshot Harrisburg seventeen to seven on the day and also had five corner kicks compared to their four. Junior keeper Patrick Paolini put together a strong day for the Seahawks, as he let in just one goal on the seven shots, according to SMCM Athletics.
However it was not the same Harrisburg team that came to play in the opening round of the CAC playoffs. When Harrisburg returned to SMCM on Oct. 27, they did not allow the same scoring barrage to occur. In fact, although the Seahawks held possession of the ball for the majority of the first half, the score going into halftime was still 0-0. Harrisburg came out strong in the second half, as they gained several more scoring opportunities than in the first half. However despite ten shots on goal for the Seahawks, neither team was able to break the tie after ninety minutes were up. This meant that the game would go into two extra ten minute periods of overtime, with the first goal ending the match.
In overtime, Harrisburg came within inches of winning, but just barely missed an open net. The Seahawks had several very good scoring chances as well, but neither team was able to capitalize. With just seconds remaining in the second overtime, a goal scoring chance failed to materialize for SMCM, sending the game now into penalty kicks.
Senior captain Juwan Kearson started the penalties off on the right note as he put his attempt into the back of the net. Harrisburg forward Joey Aman also scored on his attempt, tying the Seahawks at one. First year Jacob Breslauer then scored on his shot for the Seahawks, with Harrisburg missing their next attempt. This gave SMCM a 2-1 advantage. A miss by Moore and a goal by senior Pascal Iraola, accompanied by two goals scored by Harrisburg tied the two squads at three. SMCM junior Josh McRobie went on to score on his possession meaning that the Seahawks just had to stop Harrisburg from scoring to win the match. Harrisburg defender Eric Caldwell sent his shot over the crossbar, propelling the Seahawks to a dramatic victory.
The Seahawks will now take on number three seeded Salisbury University in the CAC semifinals on Oct. 31.