DAYTON, OHIO - Battling hard for a full 110:00, the seventh-seeded Saint Joseph's men's soccer team (5-8-6) fell to second-seeded George Mason (10-2-5) on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Championship on Thursday afternoon at Baujan Field. The teams had played to a 0-0 draw before the Patriots advanced on penalty kicks.
"I was proud of the guys," said head coach Don D'Ambra. "Number one, not to be in a playoff situation in 19 years, it's just a great accomplishment just to be here. One of the things that we talked about was taking advantage of this opportunity. They took every bit of it. They battled and they played well. We were even in shots, so anybody could have won this game. We had good opportunities, and I was just proud that they left everything out on the field. They played their hearts out and we came up a little short. So all the guys that are here are setting the standards and expectations moving forward and I couldn't be more proud of this group."
Both teams converted their first two penalties as junior midfielder Jake Nelson and sophomore midfielder Tim Lazorko tallied for SJU. However, GMU goalkeeper Steffan Kraus made consecutive stops on SJU's third and fourth attempts, and the Patriots converted all four of their penalties to advance to the semifinals.
The Hawks played strong throughout the match, with one of the most pivotal defensive moments coming in the 109th minute when George Mason's Timi Mulgrew rocketed a shot toward the left side of SJU's net. Staying consistent with his solid defensive presence throughout the season, senior Brendan Reilly perfectly positioned himself on the line to clear the ball out, sending the match to penalties.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D'Ottavi was not challenged until the 67th minute thanks in part to a brilliant defensive effort from the entire 11 on the pitch, led by the defensive unit of seniors Reilly and Brian Reynolds and juniors Nelson and Tommy Brooks.
For the match, both teams took 15 shots, landing five on goal each. George Mason held an 11-3 advantage in corner kicks, including six in the second half. Of those six, three were consecutive attempts in the 71st and 72nd minute, but Saint Joseph's did not allow a single shot on goal off of a corner kick for the entirety of that second half.
Junior forward Mike Glazer put forth a remarkable effort on the attack, firing a match-high five shots and landing three on goal, including a brilliant header in the 33rd minute that nearly cleared the outstretched hand of George Mason's Kraus.
Lazorko took three shots and freshman Bliss Harris, who moved up from the defensive line to the midfield this match, took two, landing one on goal.
In his 71st career match, senior midfielder Pat McGlynn played the full 110:00 and was again effective as a defensive midfielder, highlighted by his blocking of a shot off the foot of George Mason’s Zach Herstek, which was the first shot of the second overtime to send the match into overtime. The senior added SJU's other shot on goal.
D'Ottavi (5-8-6) finished the match with four saves to post his seventh blank sheet of the season. The senior concludes his career with 365 saves and 12 shutouts, which puts him in sole possession of fourth and third in SJU's all-time record books in the respective categories.
With the tie, the Hawks conclude their season 5-8-6 overall and 3-5-0 in A-10 action. The 10 seniors who played in their final match - Andrew D'Ottavi, Ryan McFadden, Pat McGlynn, Michael Moulton, Sam Pozzessere, Brendan Reilly, Colin Reilly, Jimmy Reilly, Brian Reynolds, and Connor Widerman - leave their legacy on Hawk Hill as leading the men's soccer program to its first A-10 postseason appearance since 1994.