THREE-PEAT! Men's Soccer Wins Third Straight United East Title

men's soccer poses with the championship banner after winning their third straight united east championship in 2022

ST. MARY'S, Md. - Penn State Harrisburg's men's soccer team defeated top-seeded St. Mary's (Md.) 2-2 (4-1 PK's) in Saturday night's United East Championship Game to capture the program's third consecutive conference title and earn an automatic berth in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. 


With the Lions (10-2-7) leading 3-1 in penalty kicks, goalkeeper Esteban Leon made a diving save on a Jason Caro attempt to preserve the advantage, allowing Ben Stuckert to bury the ensuing PK and clinch the team's third straight conference title. 


Following 90 minutes of regulation and a pair of 10-minute overtime periods, the teams moved on to penalty kicks and Marc Rodgers put the visitors ahead by converting the opening attempt. 


Alex Ochman was unsuccessful on the first attempt for the Seahawks (11-4-5) and Luke Myers put his try past St. Mary's (Md.) goalkeeper Matthew Kopsidas to give the Lions a two-goal cushion. Luke Duswalt converted his attempt but Daniel Rossiter answered right back with a conversion before Caro was turned away by a bounding Leon. 


Stuckert put things away by calmly converting his attempt to set off a jubilant celebration for the newly-minted three-time conference champions. 


The Seahawks got on the board first in the opening half when Ochman headed home a cross from Garrett Bridgewater in the 27th minute but Rossiter evened things up a short time later when he finished off a corner kick insertion from Rodgers with a header in the 31st minute.


Things remained even well into the second half until an own goal bit St. Mary's (Md.) and put the tournament's top seed in a 2-1 hole with 16:04 left to play. The Seahawks responded with urgency and netted the equalizer less than four minutes later when Matt Barlow struck off an Xavier Lewis assist with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.


Despite promising corner kick opportunities for both squads in each of the two overtime sessions, neither broke through, setting up Penn State Harrisburg's ensuing penalty kick heroics.



- The conference championship is the third in a row for Penn State Harrisburg.

- The Lions move on to compete in their third consecutive NCAA Tournament. 

- With the win, Penn State Harrisburg extended its recent unbeaten streak to 13 games.

- Leon was named the tournament MVP after making five saves, including one massive stop in PK's, in the championship game.

- Rossiter's marker was his second of the season.

- For Rodgers, his assist was his seventh of the year. 

- The Lions outshot St. Mary's (Md.) 21-17 overall and 8-7 in shots on goal.



The Lions will find out their NCAA Tournament First Round opponent during a special selection show on Monday afternoon. The unveiling will air on at 1:30 p.m.



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