After two consecutive wins, the UR Men’s soccer team earned a bid to compete in the NCAA Division III Championship for the third consecutive year.
The first win came on Sunday, Nov. 2, at an away match against Carnegie Mellon. In this game, the YellowJackets outscored the Tartans 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory.
Coming into the match after a tough loss on Halloween against Emory University, the ’Jackets were slow to start in the first half.
At halftime, the score was tied 0-0. However, as the game progressed, both teams connected with the net. The Tartans were the first team to make their mark on the scoreboard at the 70th minute, when freshman Ryan Stinebaugh shot the ball past UR sophomore goalie Michael Shatkin.
However, the Tartans did not hold onto this lead for long. The YellowJackets countered with two goals of their own. At the 83 minute mark, junior Sean Daly tied the match for UR. This momentum continued with a goal by senior Ben Keeton two minutes later.
The YellowJackets held this lead to finish out the game and earn a 2-1 victory.
The second win occurred six days later on Saturday, Nov. 8 in a home game against Case Western University. This game was the ’Jackets’ last regular season game and their senior night.
At the start of this game, the ’Jackets came out looking for blood. They took an early lead in the first half with a goal by senior Ben Keeton at the 11:14 mark. Fellow senior Alex Swagner followed Keeton with a goal of his own in the 30th minute, giving Rochester a 2-0 lead headed into the half.
During the second half of the game, the YellowJackets held onto this lead, shutting the Tartans out and earning a 2-0 victory with both goals scored by seniors on “Senior Night.”
These two victories were crucial in earning the ’Jackets a bid to the tournament.
“We knew that our backs were up against the wall in terms of making the NCAA tournament,” said sophomore Ben Swagner. “We were able to get the two wins that we needed.”
Rochester was one of 19 schools to earn at-large bids for the tournament and will be playing in their first match against Salisbury University of Maryland. This game will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Franklin and Marshall college.
“The team collectively wants to make it as far as possible,” said Ben Swagner, “With that in mind, we are going to take the tournament one game at a time. Right now, our only focus is on Salisbury this Saturday. It should be a great match, and everyone on the team is looking forward to it. The players and coaching staff as a whole are excited for the challenges of the NCAA tournament ahead.”
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.