Griffin men’s soccer advances to PSAC final four

UPDATE: The Griffin men’s soccer team lost in the PSAC semifinals against Mercyhurst University this morning. Mercyhurst won the game in overtime with a final score of 3-2. Curtis Gallagher and Harry Beattie each scored a goal for the Griffins, and the men finished the season with a 12-8 record.

Freshman goalkeeper Austin Iddon from Jeannette, Pa. winds up for the kick. Iddon is a local student-athlete who previously attended Penn Trafford High School. He currently has 53 total saves in 16 games played for the Griffins. Photo courtesy of J.Palmer/Setonian.

Freshman goalkeeper Austin Iddon from Jeannette, Pa. winds up for the kick. Iddon is a local student-athlete who previously attended Penn Trafford High School. He currently has 53 total saves in 16 games played for the Griffins. Photo by J.Palmer/Setonian.

The footballers on the hill have closed the regular season with a 11-7 record and are flying into the post-season.

Men’s soccer faced California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) on the home pitch Nov. 1 and showed dominance from the first to last whistle. The Griffins shut out the Vulcans by a final score of 4-0. There were four different goal scorers including Rory McKinnon, Curtis Gallagher, Tom Urquhart and Louis Mason. In addition, freshman Austin Iddon held true in the cage with two recorded saves.

Senior Curtis Gallagher is leading the charge on and off the field for the Griffin squad as well. Gallagher has the most points on the team by tallying 11 goals and four assists for 24 total points. He is also second in shots on goal percentage following fellow senior Rory McKinnon with a 0.580 percentage.

The team is relying on Gallagher to continue to be one of the most dangerous forwards in the PSAC and lead the team into the post-season with other seniors such as McKinnon, Joe Smith and defenseman Harrison Howes.

The Griffins have an interesting dynamic protecting the goal; all of the keepers are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen. However, freshman Austin Iddon has held the ground in goal and has produced eight wins for the squad.

The PSAC tournament is going to be a tough feat as Gallagher had this to say about the challenge: “The post-season is quite a strange thing really, it’s one game, winner takes all and so we need to be ruthless in every game from now on.”

He also is optimistic about the moral of the team going into this tournament, saying “anything can happen” and that they are looking to upset some teams.

The Griffin men's soccer team hosts West Chester University on their home turf at Dick's Sporting Goods Field. The match was the last regular season game for the Griffins 2016 season and was also senior day. Photo courtesy of J.Palmer/Setonian.

The Griffin men’s soccer team hosts West Chester University on their home turf at Dick’s Sporting Goods Field. The match was the last regular season game for the Griffins 2016 season and was also senior day. Photo by J.Palmer/Setonian.

“The boys have worked hard and come together as a team to earn their place on the table and the winning record. The credit really belongs to the players for their work rate on and off the field,” said 12th year head coach Dan McCarty.”They are constantly striving to play that perfect match. Our senior class has really stepped up and played well throughout the season, they are some very good players but even better people, a great bunch of young men.”

The men have breezed past Cal U and now they take on number one seeded Mercyhurst in Erie, Pa. for the second round. The match is set for Nov. 4 at 11 a.m. on Tullio Field. The men are relying on each other to win and advance onto the championship.

“We have 33 guys who are ‘All In’ and they all find ways to contribute to our successes,” said McCarty.

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