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Saturday, November 5, 2005

Elizabethtown Falls 2-1 in Overtime to Nationally #1-Ranked Messiah in Commonwealth Conference Championship Game

GRANTHAM, Pa. --- Elizabethtown fell 2-1 on the road in overtime to nationally top-ranked Messiah College Saturday night in the Commonwealth Conference championship game. Messiah improves to 20-0 with the win and clinches the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament, which begins Wednesday, November 9. Elizabethtown drops to 14-4-2 overall with the loss and must now wait to see whether or not it receives one of the 17 available at-large berths in the tournament. The NCAA Division III men’s soccer tournament field will be announced by the NCAA by Monday, November 7.

After a scoreless first half in which Elizabethtown out-shot Messiah 6-5, a goal by Messiah’s David McClellan broke the stalemate at 77:51. Messiah’s Ben Wagner was fouled in the box by Elizabethtown at 77:49, setting up a penalty kick by McClellan. Etown goaltender A.J. Fleisher (Kutztown, PA/Kutztown Area) blocked the PK, but McClellan received the ricochet and buried the ball in the back of the net two seconds later.

Elizabethtown tied the game with just 23 seconds left in regulation time. Messiah’s Brian Mohney was red-carded in the box to set up an Etown penalty kick, upon which Brian Healy (Newark, DE/A.I. DuPont) scored.

The red card meant that Messiah had to play shorthanded with 10 players on the field for the rest of the game and into overtime. Yet, Messiah managed to score 2:37 into overtime when McClellan struck again, this time off an assist by Jared Bollinger.

Messiah held a 15-13 advantage in shots over the course of the game, while Elizabethtown had a 2-1 edge in corner kicks. Etown goalie A.J. Fleisher made eight saves, while Messiah goalie Dustin Shambach had four saves.

At Grantham, Pa.
Commonwealth Conference Championship Game
#1 Messiah 2, Elizabethtown 1 (OT)
Elizabethtown (14-4-2) 0 1 0 -- 1
Messiah (20-0)         0 1 1 -- 2

Goal Scoring:
M—David McClellan, 77:51
E—Brian Healy, 89:37 (penalty kick)
M—David McClellan (Jared Bollinger), 92:37

Shots: E 13, M 15. Shots on Goal: E 5, M 10. Corner Kicks: E 2, M 1. Goalie Saves: A.J. Fleisher (E) 8, Dustin Shambach (M) 4.