Mount men, women bow out of semifinals
CRESSON — Both Mount Aloysius soccer teams had a chance to advance to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship game on Wednesday as they hosted conference semifinals at Ray and Louise Walker Athletic Field.
On what could have been a memorable day for both soccer programs, the youthful Mount Aloysius squads dropped both games in disappointing fashion.
In the opener, the men’s team lost to Medaille 1-0 on an 85th-minute goal. The Lady Mounties allowed four unanswered goals to Franciscan in a 4-1 loss.
“Obviously we had two great seasons, that’s what I told both teams afterwards,” said Mount Aloysius men’s and women’s coach Matt Davis, who led both teams to No. 2 seeds in the postseason.
“Overall, it was great to get up to this point. We’ll be disappointed for a few days and then hopefully we can reflect on two great seasons.”
The men’s team had their eight-game winning streak come to a halt. After winning 16 games this season, the men set a new school record as they broke the previous mark of 12 set in 2015.
Mount Aloysius previously defeated No. 3 seed Medaille 4-3 in overtime on Sept. 23. But Wednesday’s matchup had a different feel with both defenses rising to the challenge on a cold and overcast day.
After a scoreless first half, the game remained deadlocked with less than six minutes to go in regulation. Medaille was able to generate three corner kicks in succession. On the third corner off the foot of Claudio Ramondino, the ball was headed away from the goal.
But Lachlan Wilkinson was there near the top of the box to unleash a one-timer that soared into the left side of the net.
Mount Aloysius, who had seven freshmen in the starting lineup, had a couple of late chances in search of the equalizer. Medaille goalkeeper Callum Christie made consecutive saves before defender Levi Bojang headed out a shot near the post.
“If we play them 100 times, it’s probably a one-goal game one way or another every single time,” Davis said. “We got them in the regular season, they got us today. They finished a chance, we had chances to score and just didn’t finish ours.”
Mount Aloysius sophomore goalkeeper James Eyre made a couple of crucial diving saves to keep the game scoreless. Eyre, a native of England, finished with 13 saves.
“He’ll be on one of the all-conference teams. He has had a tremendous season,” Davis said.
Medaille, which advanced to the AMCC championship game for the 12th time in 13 years, finished with edges in shots (19-18), shots on goal (14-8) and corner kicks (7-5).
On the women’s side, the Lady Mounties took a lead just 4:22 into the game. Freshman Skylar Taylor buried a shot off of Sam Torrenti’s corner kick into the lower right portion of the net.
Franciscan was able to score two quick goals within 46 seconds to take the lead. Emily Wieszczek scored off of a through ball from Clare Kennedy. Megan Luiso tallied a goal on a low shot into to left side of the net with 11:45 left before halftime.
“We told the team before the game, playoffs are all about emotions. It’s how you manage those,” Davis said. “We scored and got up, but we didn’t manage that great in terms of the high emotion because we kind of let our foot off the pedal. Then when we gave up their first goal, we didn’t manage the low emotion either and we let it turn into a second one. I thought their second goal was really a back-breaker just for our spirit heading into the second half.”
Franciscan added another pair of goals within 2:31 of each other. Elizabeth Dawyot scored off of a cross from Kennedy. Luiso added her second unassisted goal after a scramble into the left corner of the net.
Mount Aloysius, which advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year, finished with a 20-9 edge in shots. The Lady Mounties tied last year’s school record with 12 wins and will only lose one senior to graduation.
SCORE BY HALVES
Medaille 0 1 — 1
Mount Aloysius 0 0 — 0
Second half: M-Wilkinson (unassisted), 84:38.
Records: Medaille (14-5); Mount Aloysius (16-3-1).
SCORE BY HALVES
Franciscan 2 2 — 4
Mount Aloysius 1 0 — 1
First half: MAC–Taylor (Torrenti), 4:22. F-Wieszczek (Kennedy), 32:59. F-Luiso (unassisted), 33:45.
Second half: F–Dawyot (Kennedy), 68:30.
F-Luiso (Kennedy), 71:01.
Records: Franciscan (10-8); Mount Aloysius (12-6-1).