FROSTBURG, MD —
Penn State Behrend senior Mark Szewczykoski's slow roller into the right side of the net with 9:46 remaining proved to be the game-winner as the third-seeded Lions edged second-seeded Pitt-Greensburg, 2-1, Friday afternoon to advance to their fifth straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship match.
Penn State Behrend (12-6-1) will face top-seeded Frostburg State (11-6-1) for the title on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., marking the fifth-straight showdown for the conference crown between the two teams.
The Bobcats, who routed No. 4 Penn State Altoona, 9-0, in Friday's first semifinal contest, won last year's title match, 1-0 in overtime.
The Lions had several chances early in the game, but senior Dan Falk sailed a shot over the net and senior Chris Lightner’s wide-open blast from the left side of the box was knocked out of play by Bobcat junior keeper Mitch Paterline in game’s 24th minute.
Penn State Behrend finally broke through with 6:14 left in the opening half when freshman Eric Nyberg collected a loose ball in an open area of the box and set a shot past Paterline to give the Lions a 1-0 halftime lead.
Pitt-Greensburg had the ball in the offensive end of the field for most of the second half but came up empty on numerous occasions.
Junior Corey Yerace sent a shot from in front of the net wide right in the 52nd minute and then misfired on another blast three minutes later at the Bobcats applied heavy pressure.
Another Yerace blast hit the left post in the 61st minute and sophomore Mike Tintera’s direct kick from midfield bounced over the net with 12 minutes left.
Just under three minutes later, Szewczykowski sent a roller on goal that Paterline apparently thought was going wide but found its way just inside the right post that gave the Lions the crucial 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats finally found the net with 7:51 remaining, cutting the Lion lead to one. Freshman Brett Marion hit the right post from close range, and freshman Steve Green was on the doorstep to knock the rebound in past Behrend sophomore goalie Jacob Hordych.
Hordych came up big for the Lions in the final minutes, corralling freshman Dave Tintera’s shot from 15 yards out with 5:49 left and tipping a high bouncer that was sent in from midfield just over the cross bar with only 3:11 to play.
Hordych, who finished with seven saves, also grabbed several throw ins in heavy traffic in the game's final minutes to secure the victory.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303