ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - The Catholic University men's soccer team came up just short in the Landmark Conference championship match Sunday afternoon in a 1-0 loss against the Elizabethtown Blue Jays at Ira R. Herr Field.
The Cardinals finished their season with an overall record of 11-6-1 after the match between the conference's top two teams.
Neither sides found a breakthrough in the first half of play, as Catholic outshot Elizabethtown 8-4. The Cardinals found the back of the net in the 49th minute but the goal was ruled offsides. Sophomore Ben Alexander's shot was deflected and redirected to Nelson Zimmerman who finished, but was in an offside position. A similar scene would happen again in the final moments of regulation.
The Blue Jays got back into the match in the second half, outshooting Catholic 10-1. The hosts broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute off a corner kick header goal to take a 1-0 lead.
As the Cardinals sent more men forward to find an equalizer, sophomore goalkeeper Jack Long made a few big saves on Elizabethtown's counter attacking efforts. He made six stops in the match.
The physical contest featured 12 cards, but Catholic kept pushing for a tying goal. It almost came at the death, when Mason Reinhart sent a cross into the box with less than five seconds on the clock. Senior Brian Galfond rose to head the ball towards goal, and it bounced to Zimmerman who knocked the ball into the net as time expired. There would be no discussion on whether the goal came before the clock ran out, however, as it was also from an offside position.
Elizabethtown (10-4-4) held on for the 1-0 championship victory. After losing in three straight conference championships, the Blue Jays are Landmark champions for the first time.
It was Catholic's first Landmark championship appearance since 2014, when the Cardinals defeated Merchant Marine Academy in a penalty-kick shootout for the program's third conference title. The loss ends Catholic's eight-game unbeaten streak, the longest run since head Coach Travis Beauchamp's team won nine straight contests in 2011.
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