On an overcast, 58-degree night, the UR men’s soccer team brought the momentum from its outstanding regular season into the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer playoffs, winning 3-0 against the 13-3-6 SUNY Plattsburgh.
With the win at Fauver Stadium against Plattsburgh, the Yellowjackets improve to a 13-1-3 overall record.
The ‘Jackets, ranked eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, kept the offensive pressure strong the entire game against their 19th-ranked opponents.
UR’s first goal came on a free kick from senior midfielder Timmer McCarthy to junior midfielder Steve Welles, who headed it to senior midfielder Scott Cady. Cady then headed the ball passed the goalie on the right side, scoring the first goal in the 16th minute of the game.
The goal turned out to be Cady’s only shot of the game, but it proved to be the decisive one for UR.
Plattsburgh had their opportunity to get on the board early in the match off of a free kick. Plattsburgh junior forward Chris Taylor shot a long ball that was headed by junior defender John LoGuirato toward the goal. Senior goalie Michael Peacock followed with a solid save on the header.
Peacock only had one save during the night and now holds a four game shutout going back to Emory on Oct. 30.
Senior defender Phil Proud described Peacocks leadership abilities in an interview with the UR athletic Web site.
‘He’s a real vocal leader for us,” he said. ‘He can see everything develop in front of him. We know if he’s coming out for something, he’ll get it.”
Peacock had one save in the game off a Plattsburgh free kick he had a slight edge over rival Plattsburgh’s goalie Andy Heighington, who didn’t have any saves.
UR scored their second goal off another free kick this time from junior defender Misha Carrel-Thomas in the first minutes of the second half. Plattsburgh fouled Welles inside the circle to set up a free kick for Carrel-Thomas in the goalie box.
From outside the right side of the box, Carrel-Thomas blasted a shot off the crossbar, which bounced in. This put UR up 2-0 with plenty of the second half remaining. The goal was Carrel-Thomas’s first of the season.
Only three minutes after the Yellowjackets’ second goal, they were set up for yet another free kick. This this time it was taken by Proud. Off the right side of the box, Proud powered the ball, past Heighington into the upper left corner of the goal.
The Yellowjackets showed their true offensive power recording 12 total shots in the match. They also had three shots on goal, all of them hitting the back of the net.
UR has been a force off free kicks all season, something Plattsburgh acknowledged but was unable to stymie.
Plattsburgh coach Chris Waterbury talked about the Yellowjacket’s free kick opportunities.
‘We talked about limiting free kicks by Rochester,” he said in the UR athletics press release. ‘But the vast majority of good chances for both teams came from free kicks.”
The UR offense lead Plattsburg in corner kicks, having four to Plattsburgh’s three.
With UR up, 3-0, after the free kick goal from Proud, the defense took over. Plattsburgh had six shots but only one of them was on goal.
The game was undoubtedably physical the ‘Jackets had 15 fouls, only one less than Plattsburgh.
The NCAA DIII Men’s Soccer Committee announced late on Sunday evening that
Messiah College will play host to the Sweet 16 rounds next weekend.
UR looks ahead to Wesleyan University of Middletown, Conn. for the next round of the NCAA tournament and will travel to Grantham, Pa. this Saturday.
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.