St. Francis College to face Old Dominion in NCAA men’s soccer tournament

St. Francis College to face Old Dominion in NCAA men’s soccer tournament
St. Francis College Athletics

The St. Francis College men’s soccer team is looking for a better result this year as it heads to its second-straight NCAA tournament.

The Terriers won a second-straight Northeast Conference title last weekend, and travel to face Old Dominion Thursday in the first round. St. Francis College fell to Penn State 1–0 in its tournament opener last season, and hopes for a longer run this time around.

“We are excited to be in the tournament,” Terriers head coach Tom Giovatto said. “There are a lot of teams that wish they could be there and we are going to give Old Dominion our best shot. This year we are more of a defensive team. We have the older guys back there and they are our leaders. They are the reason why we are where we are.”

St. Francis College reached the dance with a thrilling 2–1 overtime victory over St. Francis University (Pa.). Andy Cormack scored the winner, just as he did last year. The conference tournament’s most valuable player put in a 15-yard free kick in the 94th minute. The senior captain also scored the golden goal on a free kick in last year’s championship game against Bryant.

“I had an idea that I was going to put the ball around the wall, but the keeper didn’t go all of the way back, so I took the space that was given to me,” Cormack said. “Compared to last year, it was a bit more difficult because the angle wasn’t on my side.”

St. Francis College is 11–5–4 and currently on a seven-game unbeaten streak behind star goalkeeper Jack Binks and senior defender Riccardo Milano. The Terriers will take on an Old Dominion team that is 12–6–1 and won the Conference-USA crown, but Cormack thinks lessons learned last year could help lead to a win.

“Old Dominion is an excellent team but we think if we play up to our ability we can come away with a win,” Cormack said. “This year we mean business, and I think that shows by our record. Last year we had a few regrets. We thought we should have attacked a little bit more. We are not going to hold back this year.”