PBA Men's Soccer Opens NCCAA Nationals with Shutout Win Over Southwest Christian

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications

Kyle Crouse (Left) Recorded a Pair of Goals on Wednesday Afternoon in PBA's 3-0 Win Over Southwest Christian in the Opening Round of the NCCAA National Tournament. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Kyle Crouse (Left) Recorded a Pair of Goals on Wednesday Afternoon in PBA's 3-0 Win Over Southwest Christian in the Opening Round of the NCCAA National Tournament. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

KISSIMMEE, Fla.- Making their fifth straight appearance at the NCCAA National Tournament under head coach Jose Gomez, the Palm Beach Atlantic men’s soccer team opened play on Wednesday afternoon with a solid 3-0 win over Southwest Christian University. A pair of goals by senior Kyle Crouse helped the Fish overcome an aggressive approach by the opposition as the Fish shutout their opponent at Austin Tindall Park.

Eerily similar to their matchup with Judson University during last season’s NCCAA National Tournament run, the Fish (13-6) would be tested in more ways than one as SWC was whistled for four cards in the contest including a pair of red cards in the second-half due to dangerous tackles.

The aggressive approach by the Eagles would be only a footnote in the loss however as PBA produced a pair of goals in the first-half and a late insurance goal after the Eagles were left two men down due to the infractions.

Handing the Fort Worth, Texas institution only their second loss of the season, the Sailfish received an early goal from Crouse when the senior Lakeland, Florida native was taken down in the box with a late sliding tackle to give the Fish a 1-0 cushion in the 11th minute with the penalty kick.

Freshman Evan Singlar would tally the team’s second goal on a beautiful low cross from teammate Charlie Hubbard that Singlar would neatly place in the back of the net in the 37th minute to provide PBA a more comfortable 2-0 lead entering halftime.

Facing a stiff wind in the first-half, each team managed only three shots in the before switching sides for the second 45 minutes.

Although blessed with a two goal advantage, the Sailfish offense would be the ones still firing as they produced five shots in the second-half while holding SWC to no shots for the period.

Crouse added the final goal with a strong strike to the right-side of the goal with eight minutes remaining to close out the contest.

Sophomore Jonathan Strunk earned the shutout in goal for PBA with a pair of saves.

Starting defenders Andrew Kanarr and Lewis Thompson both played the full 90 minutes while Juan Villagrana, Tyler Sanders, and Chris Karafilov all played the full contest as well in posting the shutout.

The #6-seed Sailfish will possibly have revenge on their minds with a matchup with Judson University on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm when the Blue and White matchup versus JU for the second-straight season. The Eagles defeated the Sailfish last season in penalty kicks in the first-round on their way to the National Championship title. Judson advanced as the #2-seed with a 1-0 win over #7-seed Roberts Wesleyan College on Wednesday as well.

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