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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S SOCCER
Elizabethtown Wins 1-0 Shocker over #1-Ranked Messiah in Commonwealth Conference Semifinals; Blue Jay Head Coach Skip Roderick Gets 400th Career Win
GRANTHAM, Pa. --- Elizabethtown College head coach Skip Roderick’s 400th career victory could not have come at a more opportune time. The win came against nationally number one-ranked Messiah College, at Messiah’s Shoemaker Field, in the semifinals of the Commonwealth Conference playoffs, just three days after losing 1-0 to Messiah in the last game of the regular season. The Blue Jays, seeded fourth in the conference playoffs, defeated Messiah, which has the top seed in the playoffs, 1-0 Tuesday night to improve to 10-5-2 overall and advance to Saturday’s conference championship game. Messiah dropped to 16-1-1 overall with the loss, and it was the first loss for Messiah since November 6, 2004, when Elizabethtown beat Messiah in the conference championship game. Messiah has won back-to-back NCAA Division III national championships in 2004 and 2005.
Elizabethtown scored the only goal just 4:17 into the game as Michael Terry (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) gained control of a Wes Bunting (Lancaster, PA/J.P. McCaskey) header at the top of the box and booted the ball into the back of the net. Messiah out-shot Elizabethtown 8-2 over the course of the first half, but Elizabethtown goaltender A.J. Fleisher (Kutztown, PA/Kutztown Area) made four first half saves.
In the second half, Messiah continued to pound away at Elizabethtown but again could not get anything past Fleisher, who made four more saves in the second half as Messiah out-shot the Blue Jays 10-2. Messiah held an 18-2 advantage in corner kicks over the course of the game, including a 12-0 edge in the second half.
With the win, Roderick becomes just the ninth men’s soccer coach in NCAA Division III history to reach the 400 career victory plateau. Prior to the start of the 2006 season, only seven NCAA Division III men’s soccer coaches had ever recorded 400 or more victories, and only 19 coaches across all three NCAA Divisions had attained the mark.
Elizabethtown will advance to face second-seeded Susquehanna University, which defeated third-seeded Widener University 1-0 in the other conference semifinal game tonight, in the Commonwealth Conference championship game Saturday, November 4 at Susquehanna at 7:00 p.m.
At Grantham, Pa.
Shots: Etown 4, Messiah 20. Saves: A.J. Fleisher (E) 8; Dustin Shambach (M) 3.