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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S SOCCER
ETOWN FALLS TO MESSIAH, 2-1, IN INAUGURIAL MARSHMALLOW TROPHY BATTLE
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- Despite a 16-1-1 record, despite a program-record streak of ten consecutive shutout wins this season, despite a defense which has allowed only five goals all season, and despite a national ranking of fourth, Elizabethtown's chances for an NCAA Tournament bid are in jeopardy because of the result of a single game.
Eleventh-ranked Messiah (16-1-1) defeated Elizabethtown, 2-1, Saturday, clinching the MAC Commonwealth Conference title and with it an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Although the teams have identical overall records, Messiah concludes the season at 7-0 in the conference, while Elizabethtown trails in second place with a 5-1-1 conference record.
Etown jumped out to a 1-0 lead four minutes into the game on a goal by Brad Confer (Lancaster, PA/Manheim Township). Undaunted, Messiah tied the score at 25 minutes on a goal by Nick Folk (Middleburg, PA/Middleburg). The Falcons pulled ahead to stay when Matt Crist (York, PA/York Christian) scored at the 62 minute mark.
Due to an NCAA rule change, there are more automatic conference bids to the Tournament this year than ever before, and fewer at-large bids. Elizabethtown must now wait and hope for one of those precious few at-large bids.
In addition to the game's high playoff stakes, a unique twist was added this year. Saturday's game was the first ever played between Elizabethtown and Messiah for the coveted Marshmallow Trophy. This whimsically designed trophy is meant to symbolize the intense men's soccer rivalry between the schools and pays homage to the tradition of students from Elizabethtown and Messiah hurling marshmallows at one another in the stands.
Before a packed stadium with crowds spilling out all along the field, Dr. Theodore E. Long, President of Elizabethtown College, presented the Marshmallow trophy to Dr. Rodney Sawatsky, President of Messiah College.
The regular seasons are finished for both Elizabethtown and Messiah, but they will be playing again in the Middle Atlantic Conference playoffs, which are set to begin November 3, with locations and times to be announced.
at Elizabethtown, PA
Shots: EC 5, MC 9. Corners: EC 2, MC 7. Fouls: EC 10, MC 14. Goalie Saves: Doug Timm (EC) 5, Chris Boyles (MC) 2.