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Men’s Soccer Team Completes Winningest Season Ever

The Wildcat men's soccer team, with its championship trophy. (Photos by Phillip C. Warner, student writer%2Fphotographer)Three league championships, a 19-2 overall record and an eight-match win streak to end the season the Penn College men’s soccer team met all of its goals, and then some. “These guys took every prize there was to take this year,” coach Andy Richardson said. “It was just a wonderful year all around, and a tribute to the players and their ability. . . . It was pretty phenomenal.” Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win against Manor College brought to a close the winningest season in school history and gave the Wildcats titles in the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association and Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championships, in addition to the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference crown they won two weeks earlier. Through 90 minutes of regulation play, the Wildcats and Blue Jays (13-2) battled to a 1-1 draw. Penn College opened the scoring 8:11 into the game on a goal by Lathan Gross (Northeastern), assisted by John Swope (East Pennsboro). Manor knotted things just before the half, and, after that, it was all defense through the second half and two 10-minute overtime periods. The season then came down to penalty kicks, with each team getting five opportunities. Manor won the coin toss and scored first, but Wildcat sophomore Mike Angell (Central York) answered to knot the score at 2-all. Freshman goalie Adam Cleland (East Pennsboro), starting only his third match after the loss of starting keeper Ryan Swartz to an injury, stopped Manor’s second penalty kick. Manor goalie Scott Ehly then held, before his team went up 3-2. After Cleland held again, Jordan Myers (York) knotted things at 3-all. Cleland came up big one more time and then Adam Waigand (Seneca Valley, N.Y.) scored the clincher.Adam Waigand scores the winning goal in Saturday's championship“It all came down to the clutch. Adam Cleland saved big time for us in the penalty kicks and held them through the regulation game, as well. And Adam Waigand, our team captain, also a primary defensive back-stopper man, scored the winning goal,” Richardson said. Commenting on Cleland’s late-season contribution, Richardson said, “Adam made most every practice. He was patient all year. He sat on the bench and didn’t get the level of play that Ryan was getting, but he was there all of the time. He stuck right with it and in the end it truly paid off.” Coming off a 16-3 season last year, the Wildcats had just seven returnees and were counting on the play of their freshman. “We had 12 freshmen and they performed nobly through the season. They got tighter and better as a team and it really made a difference at the end,” Richardson said. “This final game, it came down to two tough teams. Manor came out to win big-time. They were challenging us at the goal as much as we were them. . . . Our defensive backs (Alex Johnson, New Oxford; Travis Russ, Pleasant Valley; Wes Miller, Wilson; and Waigand) really did an outstanding job,” the coach said. The PCAA championship was the second for Penn College during Richardson’s 13 seasons as coach they also won in 2000 and he was honored as “coach of the year.” For the season, the Wildcats outscored their opponents 83-27.

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