Brandywine Advances To USCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship Game

Penn State Brandywine men's soccer
Penn State Brandywine men's soccer

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For the first time in five trips to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Soccer Tournament, Penn State Brandywine has reached the national championship match. The third-seeded Lions defeated NHTI 3-1 Sunday afternoon to win Pool B with a perfect 2-0 record this weekend.

Brandywine (17-2-2) had never won a game at the national tournament prior to Saturday when it bested Berkeley College (N.Y.) 1-0. The Lions will play Monday for the national title against Johnson & Wales (N.C.), the top seed in the tournament and Pool A champion, at 4:00 pm.

"This was a great effort by our team in a win or go home situation. This was our vision from the beginning of the season and to see it come to fruition just shows the quality student-athletes that we have. Johnson & Wales is a fantastic team and we will need to be at our best in order to win a national championship," said Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos, who has guided the team to the USCAA Tournament in three-straight seasons.

The Lions' offense crossed the 100-goal mark for the season after scoring three times. Brandywine has now netted 101 scores, averaging over five per match, in 20 games this fall.

Daniel Willie (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby), an all-American and the team's leading scorer, was the first to find the back of the net, scoring at the 35:42 mark to give the Lions a 1-0 edge.

Five minutes later, Brandywine doubled its lead as Dom Scrivano (Essington, Pa./Interboro) scored from close in front off a feed from Willie, giving the Lions a 2-0 advantage.

Goalkeeper Brandon Welden (Essington, Pa./Interboro) came up with a huge stop to keep the score at 2-0 before halftime, stopping a NHTI penalty kick in the 43rd minute. That save was one of three on the day for Welden.

NHTI sliced into the lead less than three minutes into the second half, using a goal from Richard Medina to get within one with more than 40 minutes to play; however, Brandywine limited NHTI to one shot on goal the rest of the way and received an insurance goal from Mohamed Camara (Drexel Hill, Pa./Upper Darby) in the 67th minute to claim the victory.

Brandywine had a big advantage in the shot column, outshooting NHTI 25-6. Both team attempted four corner kicks.

Johnson & Wales posted a pair of shutout victories to win Pool A. The Wildcats defeated Brandywine twice last season during the teams' only two previous meetings with one of those victories coming at the USCAA Tournament.