MEDIA, Pa. – For the second-straight year and fourth time in five years, top-seeded Penn State Brandywine will play for the Penn State University Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship as the Lions posted a 5-0 victory over fifth-seeded Penn State New Kensington on Saturday afternoon.
Brandywine (15-3), winners of 11-straight matches, will battle No. 3 Penn State Hazleton on Wednesday night at 6:00 pm in State College. The match will be a rematch of last year's title tilt, won 1-0 by Brandywine.
"I'm really proud of how these guys have come together as a group. For us to get back to the championship game with how young we are just shows the level of overall quality that we have from all of our student-athletes. We still have one more piece of business to take care of on Wednesday. I have no doubt that we will be ready," said Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos.
The Lions led just 1-0 at the half, but erupted for four goals and limited New Kensington to one shot attempt over the final 45 minutes, running away with their 21st-straight triumph over a PSUAC foe.
Goalkeeper Will Scott-Norris (Wilmington, Del./Mt. Pleasant) was tested twice during the first half and turned away both shots, recording his ninth victory and second shutout of the season. Joshua Zakrzyewski made six saves and surrendered five goals for New Kensington.
Brandon Crochuins (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) broke the scoreless stalemate 30 minutes into the first half, netting his 13th tally of the fall. Steve DiSipio's (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) long throw in bounded its way through the box and found Crochunis, who headed the ball into the back of the net.
During the second half, it took Brandywine less than one minute to double its lead as Mike Usher (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) found Daniel Willie (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby), who tapped his third goal of the season across the line.
The Lions began to pull away, pressuring Zakryzewski with shots, before Chris Riebman (Mt. Airy, Md./Mt. Airy) deposited a goal in the 67th minute, his team-leading 22nd of the year. Jack Sweeney (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) put the game out of reach by netting a pair of goals over the final 10 minutes.
Brandywine outshot New Kensington 20-5, including a 10-1 mark during the second half, and attempted all five of the match's corner kicks.
The winner of Wednesday night's championship match will earn the conference's automatic bid to the USCAA Tournament (Nov. 8-11 in Virginia Beach).