DELAWARE TOPS ODU 2-1 TO WIN FIRST-EVER CAA MEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
HARRISONBURG, Va. (November 13, 2011) – Fourth-seeded Delaware overcame an early deficit to defeat #2 Old Dominion, 2-1, and capture the 2011 Virginia 529 CAA Men’s Soccer Championship on Sunday afternoon at JMU Soccer Complex in Harrisonburg, Va.
It was the first CAA championship for the Blue Hens (12-5-4) since joining the league in 2001 and their first conference tournament title ever. Delaware earned the CAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship and will make its first appearance in the event since 1970. The Monarchs, who slipped to 12-5-1 with the loss, are likely to join the Hens in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large recipient.
“It’s unbelievably exciting,” Delaware coach Ian Hennessy said. “It’s a huge victory for the University of Delaware. I can’t describe how ecstatic I am. It’s been a remarkable journey.”
The Blue Hens took advantage of a Monarchs’ error to record a game-winning own goal in the 65th minute. Sophomore Vincent Mediate sent a cross from the left side that was intended for teammate Mark Garrity in the box. Instead, the ball deflected off the head of ODU defender Drew Smith and into the open net to give Delaware its first lead of the match.
ODU took an early 1-0 advantage in the 19th minute on a penalty kick that was awarded after forward Yannick Smith was taken down in the box. The Monarchs’ Jordan LeBlanc stepped up and buried a line drive into the left side of the net for his third goal of the year.
Delaware got the equalizer in the 34th minute. Mediate fired a 12-yard shot that was blocked by ODU keeper Victor Francoz, but the rebound came right back to Mediate, who tucked the ball inside the left post from close range to make it 1-1.
ODU out-shot Delaware 15-8 for the match, including 10-3 in the second half, and had several good scoring chances in the final period. Smith received a cross right in front of the goal in the 62nd minute but his 6-yard attempt was stopped by UD goalkeeper Kris Devaux. With 13 minutes left, sophomore Tim Hopkinson’s 18-yard blast from the right side sailed just over the crossbar. Hopkinson finished with a team-high seven shots, including four on net.
UD’s Devaux finished with seven saves against an ODU squad that had scored a league-high 47 goals in 17 matches this season. Francoz stopped three shots for the Monarchs.
“It’s never going to be the prettiest soccer,” said Hennessy of his team’s playing style. “We dug in and made it difficult on them.”
Mediate was selected as the championship’s Most Outstanding Performer and was joined on the all-tournament squad by Devaux, John Dineen and Darren O’Connor. ODU was represented by Jason Gaylord, Tim Hopkinson and Tommy Webb. Also making the team were Chris Locandro and Stephen McGill of Georgia State and James Madison’s Christian McLaughlin and Paul Wyatt.
CAA All-Tournament Team
Kris Devaux, Delaware
John Dineen, Delaware
Jason Gaylord, Old Dominion
Tim Hopkinson, Old Dominion
Chris Locandro, Georgia State
Stephen McGill, Georgia State
Christian McLaughlin, James Madison
Vincent Mediate, Delaware
Darren O’Connor, Delaware
Tommy Webb, Old Dominion
Paul Wyatt, James Madison
Most Outstanding Performer: Vincent Mediate, Delaware