WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Catholic University men's soccer team earned a trip to the Landmark Conference Championship with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Drew Rangers on Wednesday evening at Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals (11-5-1) went ahead early in the 25th minute on beautiful header goal from sophomore Nelson Zimmerman. Senior Brian Galfond picked him out with a curling cross from the left wing, and Zimmerman flicked the ball off his head into the right side of the net.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jack Long made a nice save to keep the match scoreless in the 15th minute when he stuck his right foot out to save an effort on goal. The Rangers, however, leveled later in the 39th minute on a header goal from a corner kick. A frantic first half ended 1-1.
Both teams traded decent efforts in the beginning of the second half. Freshman Paul Egan had the best chance when he smashed a shot off a corner that was tipped just over the crossbar in the 60th minute. Just a few minutes later, Galfond dropped a second great cross into the middle of the penalty area for sophomore Ben Alexander.
Alexander's foot got to the ball first just before the diving Drew goalkeeper, drilling the shot into the left side of the net to take the 2-1 lead. Alexander threatened throughout the evening, leading the team with three shots.
The Catholic backline held strong in the final minutes. In the last moments of the match, Long made a diving save to the right post to keep a headed effort out of goal, preserving the goal advantage. It took a career-best effort from the keeper from Manasquan, N.J., as he made 12 saves in the semifinal win.
Now unbeaten in eight straight matches, the Cardinals will travel to Elizabethtown to take on the top-seeded Blue Jays for the conference championship this Saturday, November 3. It is a rematch from last weekend's scorless draw at Catholic. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
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