Men's soccer wins CAC title, advances to the NCAA tournament with 2-0 victory over St. Mary's

Men's soccer wins CAC title, advances to the NCAA tournament with 2-0 victory over St. Mary's

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's soccer team won the Capital Athletic Conference championship with a 2-0 victory over St. Mary's College of Maryland as a part of a physical match on a rainy Saturday afternoon in front of a packed SU Soccer Complex.

With the shutout victory, Drew Staedeli and the Salisbury defense has not allowed a goal in 570 minutes of play, as the last goal they surrendered was in the 10th minute of their tie against Christopher Newport University. Also, with a six-save match for Staedeli, he now sits fifth all-time for career saves at Salisbury.

The game started off with St. Mary's controlling the game, playing a high-energy brand of soccer as the Seahawks went for five shots and two corner kicks before the Gulls had their first shot.

The Sea Gulls then got in a groove, transitioning the ball up the field well, and got some great looks on goal.

Salisbury nearly got on the board in the 12th minute as Nathaniel Eiben got a header off a cross to the middle of the box that was going to go right below the crossbar. Keeper Zack Haussler made a great save, throwing his arms up to punch the ball over the crossbar at the last moment.

Salisbury got on the board in the 13th minute as it was working the ball within the Seahawks' 18, got fouled on the edge of the box, and was awarded a penalty kick.

Head Coach Gerry DiBartolo went to junior Leslie Umunna, who used a deceptive approach to the kick, before finding the back of the net for his seventh goal on the year.

At the end of the first half, St. Mary's held the edge in corner kicks (6-4) and shots (13-11); while Seahawks' keeper Zack Haussler had six stops.

In the 48th minute, the Seahawks once again fouled Salisbury inside the 18 and the Gulls were awarded another penalty kick. Umunna got the nod for the second time, but Haussler made a great diving save, which ignited the St. Mary's bench.

Playing in just his seventh career game, Joshua Lord added an insurance goal in the 73rd minute. Brad Martinelli had the ball just outside the Seahawks' 18 and took a wayward shot that found Lord five yards away from the goal line. Lord redirected the ball in for his first-career goal.

With the victory, Salisbury wins its eighth CAC championship and earns the league's automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Division III tournament. The NCAA selection show will take place on Monday, November 9th; visit www.suseagulls.com for more information about Salisbury's tournament run as it becomes available.

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