WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Catholic University men's soccer team will compete for its fourth Landmark Conference title on Saturday in a rematch of last year's championship match against the Elizabethtown Blue Jays at Carlini Field.
The venue is the only change in this year's Landmark Championship for head coach Travis Beauchamp's men, as the Cardinals earned the top seed in the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record for the first time in program history. The third-seeded Blue Jays, meanwhile, will make their fifth consecutive conference championship appearance in the match.
Elizabethtown claimed their first-ever Landmark title last year on Nov. 4, 2018 after runner-up finishes in each of the previous three seasons. The 1-0 win over Catholic at Ira R. Herr Field came from a 63rd minute header goal from current junior defender Clark Williamson.
The Cards are back in the championship after topping Moravian 5-3 in an entertaining semifinal match at Carlini Field that featured a hat-trick from sophomore forward Ben Alexander and a penalty kick save from junior goalkeeper Jack Long. Riding a five-game win streak, Catholic will look to replicate its 2-0 victory over the Blue Jays on Nov. 2 just one week ago.
Elizabethtown defeated second-seeded Scranton 1-0 in overtime on Tuesday for a spot in the championship tilt. Senior forward JD Haaf provided the overtime winner with a 94th minute goal from distance.
The match features the top two offensive teams in the conference, with Catholic leading the Landmark with 56 goals and Elizabethtown following with 37 tallies.
The most potent forwards in the conference will also lead the line for each side, as Alexander and Haaf top the league in many offensive categories. Alexander sits on top with 16 goals and 36 total points, while Haaf leads with 77 total shots and is second in goals with 12. Catholic midfielder Darius Siahpoosh is the league leader in assists with eight and Blue Jays' freshman Tate Mohney is second with seven helpers.
In their regular season contest, the Cardinals topped the Blue Jays 2-0 with goals from Alexander and senior Andrew Laurenzano to complete an undefeated regular season. It was the 12th shutout for Long and the team's 13th clean sheet overall. Elizabethtown freshman goalkeeper Kelvin Del Cid made three of his 79 total saves on the season, a mark that leads the Landmark.
The Blue Jays have been resilient on the road, however, boasting a 7-0-1 record away from home this season. The Cardinals will host their 12th match at Carlini Field, coming into the championship with a 9-1-1 home record.
Catholic seeks its first conference title since 2014, when the Cardinals beat Goucher and Merchant Marine Academy on penalty kicks for a championship.
Kickoff at Carlini Field on Saturday, Nov. 9 is set for 1 p.m.