On Friday the UR men’s soccer team rounded out their regular season with a 1-0 victory over city rival Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. With the win, UR finished undefeated in their region compiling a record of 9-0-2.

Their overall record of 12-4-2 was not quite good enough to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. However, they are the number one seed for this weekend’s ECAC tournament to be played at Fauver Stadium.

The game versus RIT was UR’s fourth consecutive victory and also the third straight game in which freshmen Colin Fernie has found the back of the net.

The game winner came in the 77th minute when junior captain Ben Cross played a through ball into the path of a charging Mike Springer. The junior defender sprinted from the right back position to the left side of the box before serving a delicate ball for Fernie to bury.

Head coach Chris Apple said of Springer’s performance, “someone needed to step up and he did.” Again UR out-shot their opponents 22-8, a common trend this season.

There were several standouts on the UR squad this year, as the regular season reaches its conclusion. Freshman Nate Micklos led the team in scoring with eight goals and 20 points, while senior Jacques Appleby ended his stellar career with five goals and 16 points.

Junior goalkeeper Brian Minehan only gave up a measly 0.81 goals per game and had 6 shutouts. Other standouts on defense include Juniors Nate Rimmke and the aforementioned Springer.

Regarding the NCAA tournament Apple said, “The only guaranteed way for us to get into the tournament is to win the UAA. We had two overtime losses [to Carnegie Mellon University and Emory University] that hurt us.” He was disappointed as he feels the team could have made a successful run in the NCAAs. Apple has stressed, though, there is still a championship to play for.

The championship that the Yellowjackets will attempt to win is their third consecutive ECAC title. The first hurdle for UR is Keuka College. Apple said the game is going to be, “tough, physical and aggressive.” The kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday at Fauver Stadium. The other two contestants are SUNY Brockport, who UR recently defeated 3-0, and SUNY Plattsburg, the team that UR defeated in last year’s ECAC final. This is a rematch of a game earlier in the season, which Brockport won over Plattsburg 4-1.

The winners of the two semi-finals will meet in the final at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

UR will still feel the lingering effects of the NCAA snub, no matter how well the play this weekend. This is the third consecutive year that the Yellowjackets saw their at large bubble burst by the NCAA.

They will be competing in Div. III soccer’s version of the N.I.T. when St. Lawrence, a team that UR thoroughly dominated in a 1-1 tie earlier in the season, makes it way through the NCAA brackets.

The Yellowjackets must also feel especially slighted by the NCAA, who promised UR an at-large birth if they had a successful end to their regular season. UR responded with four straight victories to end the season, but the NCAA did not live up to their end of the bargain.

“This is going to be a tough tournament, as every team has 12 or more wins. It will not be easy to win, but we have every intention of bringing home a third crown,” Apple said.

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