Bethany extends PAC title streak, beats GCC 4-1
GROVE CITY, PA, November 3, 2001--The Bethany College Bison rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit with four unanswered goals and claimed their 22nd consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference championship title with a 4-1 win over the host Grove City College Wolverines Saturday afternoon.
Bethany (15-6-1), who mustered just two shots before halftime, struck with three goals in an eight-minute span midway through the second half and controlled the tempo the rest of the way.
Grove City (13-6-1) appeared headed for its first outright PAC title, spending most of the first half in the offensive zone. Senior Jon Veschio (Mercer, PA/Mercer) gave the Wolverines a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute after dribbling in close from the left wing and deflecting a shot into the net off of Bethany fullback Papa Sane. It was Veschio's second goal of the season.
Wolverine fullbacks didn't bend an inch through the first 45 minutes, thwarting most Bison rushes near midfield. Bethany didn't record its first shot until there were five minutes left before intermission.
The Bison snapped back in the second half, however, evening the score on a penalty kick by Daniel Reinoso in the 61st minute. The PK was awarded after a bouncing ball caught the right hand of junior Nate Burgess (Richmond, VA/The Collegiate School) in the box. Four minutes later, Stuart Bracher, who scored four times in Bethany's 5-1 win over W&J in Friday's semifinals, buried his first of two consecutive goals from the right side off a feed from Dan Irwin. Bracher made it 3-1 in the 69th minute when Reinoso fed him with a perfect pass on the right wing. Reinoso capped the scoring in the 74th minute, heading in a free kick off the foot of Randy Shah.
Shots were even in the game, 9-9.
Grove City, who shared the PAC title with Bethany in 1996, lost to the Bison in the 1999 league championship game, 6-2.
The Wolverines, whose 13 wins marks the second-best total in the program's 62-year history, will learn Monday whether they have been selected to compete in the 2001 ECAC Southern Region Championship playoffs.
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