|James Caulfield||Michael Donnelly|
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senior James Caulfield (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley) scored in the first half, as the University of Scranton men's soccer team locked down the second seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament with a 1-0 victory at Catholic on Saturday afternoon in the squad's regular season finale.
With the win, the Royals end the regular season with a 12-3-1 overall mark and a 5-2 mark in the Landmark Conference. Catholic fell to 6-11 and 1-6 in the Landmark with the victory.
In the opening half, the Royals were the aggressors from the start, firing three shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, only to be turned away by Catholic goalie Steven Lukas on each chance.
But, in the 35th minute, Scranton converted after a corner kick by sophomore Kieran Bracken (Stamford, Conn./South Kent).
On the play, sophomore Michael Donnelly (Mahopac, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) headed a pass to Caulfield, who finished the chance presented to score what turned out to be the lone goal of the contest.
For Caulfield, it was the first goal of his 2016 season, and the third goal of his career. Meanwhile, Donnelly recorded his second assist of the season on the play.
The 1-0 lead held for Scranton into halftime, and in the second half, the Royals defense clamped down to notch their eighth shutout victory of the season.
In goal, senior Eric Hintz (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) had a great second half, making four saves to preserve his fourth shutout victory of the season.
Overall, Catholic ended up outshooting Scranton, 11-10, in the contest, with the Royals holding a 5-4 edge on corner kicks.
The win was vital for Scranton for many reasons. With a Landmark Conference Tournament spot locked up going into the match, the win clinched a home match for the Royals in the Semifinals, where they will take on Drew at Fitzpatrick Field on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
In the match, Scranton will try to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Rangers in the regular season. The winner of the contest will then move on to next Saturday's Landmark Conference Championship Match, taking on either top-seeded Elizabethtown or fourth-seed Susquehanna.
More information will be available on the contest throughout the week, so stay tuned to athletics.scranton.edu for more information as it becomes available.