Leaders of the PAC
GROVE CITY, PA, September 22, 2001--When the 2001 Presidents' Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship Tournament rolls around six weeks from now, the Wolverines may not have to go very far.
Grove City College improved to 4-0 in the PAC (6-1 overall) and claimed sole possession of first place with a 3-1 victory over Washington & Jefferson College in front of another overflow crowd at the College Field. W&J dropped to 2-1 in the league (4-4 overall). The first-place team at the conclusion of double round-robin play earns the top seed and right to host the PAC championship tournament, Nov. 2-3.
The Wolverines opened the scoring in the sixth minute when senior Brian Williams (Charlotte, NC/First Assembly) netted his first goal of the season off a pass from junior Nate Burgess (Richmond, VA/The Collegiate School). Grove City extended the lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when senior Andy Shockey (Mechanicsburg, PA/Cumberland Valley) buried a penalty kick after Washington & Jefferson was called for holding in the box. It was Shockey's first goal of the season.
Grove City controlled the tempo heading into the second half before W&J's Josh Jeffries cut the lead in half with a goal in the 58th minute. The goal was the least of the Wolverines' concerns when, moments later, Shockey was assessed a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct.
However, the Wolverine defense, which has posted five shutouts in the first seven games, remained focused and blanked the Presidents short-handed over the final 32 minutes as the back line of senior Sam Coffman (Scottdale, PA/Southmoreland), who replaced Shockey at sweeper, Burgess and sophomore Mike Koper (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) broke up several W&J maneuvers. Junior goalkeeper Brad Smith (North Huntington, PA/Norwin) earned the win in goal with four saves.
In the final minute, senior Chris Crefeld punctuated the victory with his second goal of the season, assisted by junior Nate Gilch (Gibsonia, PA/Pine-Richland). Moments earlier, Koper brought the crowd to its feet after dribbling the length of the field around and through several W&J defenders before narrowly missing the net to the right.
W&J out-shot Grove City in the game, 16-13, including a 10-7 margin with the man advantage.
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