SALISBURY, Md.-The Salisbury University men's soccer team defeated Rutgers University-Camden at the SU Soccer Complex by a score of 1-0 to capture its fifth straight Elmer Lord Soccer Classic title.
After a back-and-forth first half that saw both sides get numerous chances, Salisbury got onto the board with just under two minutes left in the opening half.
As the Rutgers-Camden goalkeeper had just stymied the Salisbury pressure and found the ball in his hands, he stepped out of the box while carrying the ball. Salisbury was awarded a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box as a result. Head Coach Gerry DiBartolo chose to give junior Tyler Andrus the chance to connect on the free kick, and Andrus did not disappoint. Andrus drilled the ball around the right side of the Rutgers-Camden (2-1) wall and tucked the ball just inside the right post for his first tally of the season.
The lone Andrus goal would be all the Sea Gulls (3-0) would need to claim the title on their home field. Salisbury utilized its midfield depth once again to wear down their opponents and gain an edge later on in the game. Senior Taylor Groginski and junior Leslie Umunna shined in the middle of the field. Groginski utilized his speed to play on both ends of the field with skill while pushing the pace of the game. For Groginski's efforts, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Elmer Lord Soccer Classic. Umunna displayed a bevy of fancy footwork throughout the contest and put pressure on the Scarlet Raptors' back line all game.
As has become customary, senior goalkeeper Drew Staedeli was tremendous in net for the Sea Gulls as he captured his first shutout of the season. With just under 25 minutes remaining in the game, a Rutgers-Camden player unleashed a shot that Staedeli dove to and punched away to his right. The ball landed on another Scarlet Raptors' foot and he unleashed a close range shot onto Staedeli. Staedeli recovered from his first dive and made a second diving effort to keep the clean slate.
The senior captain recorded six saves on the day – his second six-save performance of the year, which is good for the second highest save total in his career. With 17 saves on the season, Staedeli is now just 7 saves away from entering the top-10 for all-time saves in Salisbury men's soccer history.
Salisbury next takes the pitch on September 12 when it plays in the St. Mary's College of Maryland SMDHotels.com Seahawk Classic against Virginia Wesleyan College at 2 p.m. Play for the SMDHotels.com Seahawk Classic continues for Salisbury the next day, on September 13 when the Sea Gulls take on Bridgewater (Va.) College at 7 p.m.