Men’s soccer wins three to earn the ECAC title

Last week, the Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team qualified for the 2006 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Men’s South Soccer Championships. As the number-two seed in the eight-team tournament, they defeated Westminster College on Wednesday and Alvernia College on Saturday to reach the championship game yesterday. Continuing their strong play, the Tartans defeated visiting Gettysburg College 4–1 to win the ECAC South Title.

The Tartans opened the ECAC tournament at home against Westminster on Wednesday, defeating the Titans 3–0. Senior forward Andrew Park netted the Tartan’s first goal in the 17th minute when he collected the ball outside the 18-yard box and blasted it past Westminster’s goalkeeper.

“On a wet field like this, the ball can pop out anywhere so you have to be ready for it,” Park said. “I just got a lucky break and was able to get past one defender and the keeper wasn’t ready for it.”

Senior forward Jonathan Browne collected two goals late in the first half to finish off the scoring for Carnegie Mellon.
In the semifinals on Saturday, Carnegie Mellon defeated the visiting Alvernia Crusaders 3–0. After a scoreless first half, Browne got the Tartans on the board in the 51st minute. First-year midfielder Jonathon Simon crossed the ball from the left end line back to Browne in the center of the box, who one-timed the pass into the net.

Park had a breakaway in the 56th minute and, with Alvernia’s goalkeeper charging, Park ran onto the ball first, and his sliding shot from 30 yards out bounced past the goalie and into the net. The Tartans wrapped up their scoring in the 63rd minute when Simon headed in a cross off a pass from first-year midfielder Ryan Browne.

Jonathan Browne capped an illustrious career by scoring three goals in the championship game, all in the first 16 minutes. Browne, Carnegie Mellon’s all-time goal and points leader, scored just 83 seconds into the game by using his head to redirect a header from Simon into the net.

Browne’s second goal happened in the 13th minute off a cross from the right corner by senior midfielder Will Schlough. The ball bounced free in the box and Browne one-timed a shot from five yards out past Gettysburg’s goalkeeper.

Standing near the right post, Browne registered the hat trick in the 16th minute when he one-timed a pass from Park into the goal. This marked his third career hat trick and first since his sophomore year.

Park added a goal of his own in the 56th minute when he collected his blocked shot and laced the ball inside the far left post from 18 yards out. Gettysburg added a late goal in the 80th minute to prevent the shutout.

Tartan sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Bazin and senior goalkeeper Robert Vargo combined to allow only one goal in their three tournament games. Bazin finished the season with nine shutouts in 19 games and only 11 goals allowed on the year.

“Playing soccer at Carnegie Mellon has been the best thing for all of us really,” Park said. “We’ve found a good group of friends that we’re going to have forever. I consider all the guys on the team my best friend. I’ve definitely enjoyed the last four years. We had a disappointing stretch this season, but we got past that and went on and won this tournament.”

Browne was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC South tournament, thanks to his six goals in the three games. He finishes his career with 58 goals in 62 games played. The Tartans end their season with a record of 14–5.