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Penn College Men Seek Fifth Straight Soccer Crown

Midfielder William DeAngelo during Wednesday's semifinal match against Penn State Abington.For the second straight season, men’s soccer teams from Pennsylvania College of Technology and Penn State York will square off for the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship. The match is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Jeffrey Field on Penn State’s main campus.

Defending champ Penn College (12-0 overall and 10-0 in the PSUAC) advanced to the finale with a 4-0 win over Penn State Abington. Penn State York (9-2-1) topped Penn State Hazleton, 1-0, in its semifinal. During the regular season, Penn College won at York, 1-0.

“York is becoming our rival. We have a couple of players who are from that area and it’s just built up this rivalry. It’s not a dirty rivalry. It’s nice. They’re a little bit physical, we’re physical. They like to play through the middle, we like to play through the middle. I think it’s going to be a good match,” Penn College coach Enrique Castillo said.

The key to winning for the Wildcats, however, will rest on their shoulders.

“I feel that we have a chance if we playour game. If we play our style, we can beat a lot of good teams,” Castillo said.

Reflecting on his team’s win over Penn State Abington on Wednesday, Castillo said, “The first half we were a little bit rusty, but the second half we did a lot better.”

Coleby FryeStephen Lis (Elliottsburg) put the Wildcats on the board with a goal in the 45th minute, but Coleby Frye’s goal 14 minutes later changed the complexion of the match.

“The second goal was the one that broke Abington’s momentum. They were putting a lot of pressure on our players. After we scored that second goal (by Frey of York) it just opened it up,” Castillo said.

Also scoring against Abington were Morris Sayon (Upper Darby) and Steve Bullock (Manheim). The semifinal win extended the Wildcats’ two-season victory streak to 28 in a row.

“We’re looking for another title,” Castillo said of his squad, which has won four conference crowns in a row.

“They know the job that they have to do. They’re not going to be satisfied until they win the championship.”

If the weather forecast holds true, rain could be a factor Saturday night and that could affect play.

“If it rains, it’s going to make it hard to connect passes. The ball is going to be slippery and it’s going to change the style of play,” Castillo said.

“For us, being a team that likes to knock the ball around from the back to the midfield to the strikers, it’s going to make it difficult. We’ll have to be more precise. Also, the ball is going to carry a lot faster, it’s going to be quicker.

“We haven’t had a lot of practice in the rain, so I don’t know how it’s going to affect our players, but I think we will do fine.”

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, the Wildcats have received and accepted a bid to play in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association national tournament Oct. 29-31 at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Mich.

( Photos by Jessica L. Tobias, student photographer)

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