Top seeded Penn State Harrisburg continued their quest for the Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference South Region Championship Saturday with a victory over the number four seed Alvernia Crusaders. It took two overtime periods and a penalty kick shootout to decide the winner of this hard fought contest. The Lions were able to out shoot the Crusaders 4-2 in PK's to secure their spot in the ECAC South Championship game.
With both teams exhausted from their long seasons followed up by numerous postseason games, this matchup seemed to be a mental game as much as it was a physical contest. Both teams had opportunities to put the ball in the net, but came up unsuccessful. The teams battled shot for shot to the end of regulation both searching for the game winner. Unfortunatey for both teams, no game winning goal would end the tie in either overtime period and the heatbreaking outcome of penalty kicks would decide who got a shot at a championship this season.
In PK's, Penn State Harrisburg came out victorious as they outshot Alvernia 4-2. Scores by the Lions's James Bilger (Slatington, Pa. / Northern Lehigh), Alex Panuccio (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg Area), Colby Brown (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin), and Malik Cameron (Bronx, N.Y. / Cardinal Spellman) secured the victory for the Blue and White and a birth into the title game Sunday. Brandon Hoover (Lancaster, Pa. / Pequea Valley) took home the man of the match honors with his multiple PK stops as well as the clean sheet through 110 minutes of soccer.
Coach Donelly had this to say following the match. "It was a tough game, could easily have gone either way. Alvernia are a very dangerous team with quality players, and this is not an easy place to play. But somehow, some way, we are finding a way to wins these games this year. We have a fantastic group who won't ever give up. Tomorrow is their last day together so hopefully the ball bounces for us".
Penn State Harrisbug will face off against the number three seed Misericordia College who defeated Widener 1-0 in overtime on the other side of the bracket. The championship game will be held Sunday November 16th at Alvernia University with a noon kickoff.