Bears head to NCAA second round

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012


Two crucial goals in the first half of the first-round match of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament propelled the No. 15 Bears to a 2-0 win over Drexel (12-4-3) yesterday evening at Vidas Field in Philadelphia.

The Bears advance to the tournament’s second round for the fourth consecutive season. They will go up against the powerful University of Maryland, College Park (17-1-2) Terrapins Sunday evening. The Terrapins are ranked second in the country and are the Atlantic Coast Conference champions. 

“The game was a really good challenge,” said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin.

“To travel and play away mid-week … the team really rose to the occasion and played outstanding,” he said.

“Every game in the season is exciting and a battle, but the NCAA games are a whole other level,” said Ben Maurey ’15. “Every team is doing everything they can to get a win, so you have to give everything you got every game … we certainly did that tonight.”

The Bears (13-2-3) started the game strong, taking command of the offense. Close shots by Tariq Akeel ’16, Alex Markes ’15 and Bobby Belair ’13 marked the first five minutes of play. 

The pressure paid off in the 17th minute. First Team All-Ivy midfielder Thomas McNamara ‘12.5 leapt for a header after a flawless entry pass from Dylan Remick ’13 off a corner kick, giving the Bears an early 1-0 edge over the Dragons. 

Bruno maintained the momentum, adding another goal at the tail-end of the first half. Again, it was First Team All-Ivy defender Remick who got the assist, sending a long cross from the corner to Daniel Taylor ’15, whose header hit the cross bar and then deflected into the net past Drexel goalkeeper Tim Washam

“The first half we did what our coach asked us to: give a confident, professional performance,” Taylor said. 

Co-captain Ryan McDuff ’13 said that scoring two goals in the first half “really took the pressure off.” 

In the second half, the Dragons came out more aggressive, pressuring the Bears’ defense with 14 shots in an attempt to continue their season.

“They did everything they could in the second half, fearing elimination,” Maurey said. “But our defense played strong and we got our 11th shutout, tying the school record.”

The Dragons’ best chance came in the 57th minute when John Grosh drove the ball toward the right side of the net with goalie Sam Kernan-Schloss ’13 out of position. But co-captain Eric Robertson ’13 was in just the right place, heading the ball up and over the crossbar. Bruno’s backline stayed solid, deflecting each of the Dragons’ chances.

The Bears will now head to College Park, Md., to face Maryland Sunday at 5 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity to play against one of the best teams in the country and show we can and will compete with anyone,” Taylor said. 

Maryland will provide the Bears with a tough challenge, but McDuff said the team will look to use its experience to its advantage.

“For seniors, this will be our 11th NCAA game,” McDuff said. “We’re excited for the challenge. We pride ourselves on being a competitive and prepared team.”

Last season, Bruno advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament and will need to come out on top Sunday to repeat the feat. 

And as Remick said, the Bears are “happy but not satisfied – yet.”