Crochunis Nets Game Winner; Brandywine Tops Berkeley 1-0

Brandon Crochunis
Brandon Crochunis

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Senior all-American Brandon Crochunis (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) headed the match's lone goal with 10 minutes to play and the No. 3 Penn State Brandywine men's soccer team knocked off second-seeded Berkeley College (N.Y.) 1-0 at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament on Saturday night.

The teams were deadlocked at 0-0 for nearly 80 minutes before Crochunis broke the scoreless tie, heading in Stevie DiSipio's (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) long throw in that had made its way all of the way to the far corner of the goal. The score was the 13th of the season for Crochunis.

"I'm so proud of these guys. For 90 minutes, we competed hard and were able to find a way to win in the end. Credit to Berkeley as their physicality caused a lot of problems, but we were able to execute when it mattered most," said Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos.

Brandywine finally broke through after being denied on a pair of golden opportunities earlier in the game. Dom Scrivano (Essington, Pa./Interboro) was turned away on the doorstep during the first half, while Daniel Willie (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) was denied by Berkeley goalkeeper Dario Cruz Sepulveda early in the second period.

The Lions' defense yielded few scoring chances to the Knights throughout the game. Net minder Brandon Welden (Essington, Pa./Interboro) stopped three shots in the first half and then with Brandywine leading late in the match, he got just enough of a Berkeley shot to deflect it over the cage and preserve the win.

Welden earned his sixth shutout of the season and has now allowed only one score since the beginning of October.

Brandywine (16-2-2) will face No. 6 NHTI on Sunday at 2:30 PM needing a win or draw to earn a spot in the national championship game.