Palm Beach Atlantic Men's Soccer Drops Final NCCAA Tournament Contest

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Anthony Mack (Pictured) Is One of Nine PBA Seniors Who Played Their Final Collegiate Soccer Match on Saturday Afternoon at NCCAA National Tournament. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Anthony Mack (Pictured) Is One of Nine PBA Seniors Who Played Their Final Collegiate Soccer Match on Saturday Afternoon at NCCAA National Tournament. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

KISSIMMEE, Fla.- Playing their final match of the season at rain-soaked Austin-Tindall Park at the NCCAA National Soccer Championship, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team battled #3-seed Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Saturday afternoon in the fifth place game. An even battle throughout, the Cougars took advantage of a late own goal by the Fish to hold on for a hard-fought 1-0 victory to close out both team’s seasons.

Palm Beach Atlantic (11-6-3) closes out tournament play with a 1-1-1 record in their three contests after being defeated by Judson University in the first-round by penalty kicks and taking a 3-0 victory on Thursday over #1-seed Mid-Continent University. Mount Vernon Nazarene, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, improved to 2-1 at the tournament with a 16-7-2 mark for the season.

Both teams battled each other and the wet conditions on early Saturday afternoon as neither team could ever seem to get into a complete offensive rhythm. The Sailfish controlled much of the first-half as they collected nine shots to the Cougars three while also winning five corner kicks to the Cougars zero.

Unfortunately for the Fish, the Cougars would re-take much of the momentum down the stretch and look to cash in on a number of chances in their attacking third in the final minutes.

With under four minutes to play, MVNU lined up for a corner kick and delivered a beautiful curling cross into the box that somehow found the leg of a Sailfish defender and subsequently landed in the back of the net for a 1-0 Cougars lead.

Try as they might, the Sailfish were not able to close the gap before the final horn sounded. Senior Johnathon Clark nearly gave the Fish hope just a minute after the own goal as he drew contact inside the opponent’s box but the referee declined to award the Fish with a penalty kick opportunity.

One more chance for PBA was all that was left as the Cougars closed out their 2009 season on a high note and took home a 5th place finish at the NCCAA National Tournament.

Alex Stout posted the shutout in goal for MVNU while making six saves. Senior keeper Joe Yurchak made one save in goal for PBA in his final contest as a Sailfish.

Yet another strong showing for PBA fifth year head coach Jose Gomez and his Sailfish team, PBA wraps up the 2009 season with another NCCAA South Region title and a final record of 11-6-3.

Today’s contest was the final game for a memorable and talented senior class for PBA that includes Mark Cabrera, Johnathon Clark, Anthony Mack, Shane Redfield, Cheyne Roberts, Roberto Salas, Chance Sumner, Joe Yurchak, and Enrico Zanella.

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