Ones Enough for Mens Soccer to Defeat Eastern
READING, Pa. – The Susquehanna men’s soccer team opened play at the Alvernia Tournament with a 1-0 victory over Eastern on Saturday evening. Senior forward Shane Atha (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) provided the game’s only scoring to give the Crusaders their first victory of the young season.
Atha’s game winner was the second of his career and the first since the 2008 season. With the win, Susquehanna (1-1) even its record for the season and dealt Eastern (1-1) its first loss of the fall.
The Crusaders took only eight shots, but that was still more than double Eastern’s total of three. Susquehanna’s defense held the Eagles without a single shot for the first 55 minutes of action and starting goalie B.J. Merriam (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) was forced to make just one save in the game.
Atha’s goal came early in the game on a cross from the right side that he flicked towards the goal. The ball bounced off keeper Matt Leig and into the net for a 1-0 lead with 12:45 on the clock. Junior Joey Stellato (Convent Station, N.J./Morristown) and senior Jim Robertiello (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) were credited with assists on the score.
SU took only one more shot in the half as neither team created a true scoring threat for the final 32 minutes of play.
Defense remained the name of the game for the second half. While Eastern did take three shots compared so its zero in the first half, only one was on goal. SU managed four shots but like the Eagles, only one forced Leig into action.
Eastern’s Brandon Reichart gave fans a thrill with a last-second header as time wound down but fortunately for the Crusaders it sailed high and Susquehanna preserved the 1-0 victory.
Next match: Sunday, Sept. 5 - Alvernia Tournament Championship game against the winner of Saturday’s York-Wesley nightcap.