The Slippery Rock Men’s soccer team did not qualify for the NCAA tournament, even though they pulled two upset victories to win the PSAC tournament.
After beating the first seed Mercyhurst in the semis, The Rock went on to challenge #21 ranked Millersville in the PSAC championship game.
The Rock fell to an early deficit against Millersville less than two minutes into the game. Some thought it would be a long day for SRU when they fell to a ranked foe, with not even two minutes gone in the first half. The defense would tighten up however, and only allow five more shots on goal for the whole game. The second-ranked offense in the nation was stifled by the defense and the goaltending of Steven Rerick.
Rerick made a couple outstanding diving saves in the first half to keep the lead at a slim 1-0. Despite SRU controlling possession for much of the first half, they were only able to register two shots on goal.
The Rock came out in the second half ready to get the tide flowing in their favor.
The defenses on both squads dominated the first 25 minutes of the second half until Ryan Lutke struck gold on a free kick with 26:08 left.
The Rock didn’t let up and continued to attack Millersville. The Rock broke through once again when Peter Boylan scored his fifth goal of the season at the 71:08 mark, giving SRU a 2-1 lead. Boylan’s first shot was stopped, but he got his own deflection and nailed it home for the goal.
Millersville didn’t go away quietly and upped their offensive pressure for the remaining 19 minutes. The Rock defense and Rerick rose to the occasion and stood their ground. Rerick would finish the game with five saves, and answered the call of shutting down the tough Millersville attack.
Despite the PSAC championship, SRU was still denied a chance to play in the NCAA tournament. The committee only accepts four teams from the Atlantic Region, and those teams going to the tournament are, Charleston, Millersville, Urbana and Notre Dame.
The Rock holds head to head victories over Notre Dame and Millersville, which made head coach Andy Hoggarth pretty upset.
He was surprised that despite winning their last five games, and only giving up one goal in that stretch, they were still denied to get in. He wanted to see his seniors get one last chance in the NCAA tournament.
The Rock’s season is finished with a record of 14-6, and its second PSAC title in the last three years.
Three seniors also made the All PSAC team. Seniors Ryan Lutke and Ryan Boylan made first team All PSAC, while senior, Peter Boylan and junior, Matt Sangermano made the second team All PSAC.