WASHINGTON – The Catholic University men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to Messiah College on Saturday, Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C.
The Cardinals made a furious rally to erase a 2-0 deficit late in the second half, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Messiah got on the board first, as Joshua Wood finished a pass driven across the box from Aaron Myers at the 17:16 mark. The Falcons took their 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The Falcons came out firing after halftime, applying pressure to the Catholic back line and forcing a corner. Brian Ramirez took the ensuing kick and found Jeremy Payne in the box who headed the ball past Torsten Meuschke's (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder) outstretched arms. The goal put Messiah up 2-0 just three minutes into the second half.
The Cardinals never gave up as Ben Fleri (College Park, Md./DeMatha) set up Ian Smith (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) in the center of the field. Smith ripped a low shot from just outside the box that slipped through the legs of Messiah's goalie, to make the score 2-1 in the 70th minute.
Catholic stayed on the attack causing the Falcon's to hold their breath on a number of opportunities, including an Earl Hamilton (Fort Washington, Md./Gonzaga) shot that sailed just inches over the crossbar. Kevin Romano (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) also sent a dangerous pass through Falcon territory as several Cardinals charged into the box but no one was able to finish the cross.
As the seconds ticked off, the Cardinal's saw their rally cut short, falling 2-1 to the defending NCAA Division III National Champions.
Meuschke picked up seven saves in the loss. Messiah controlled the game in shots, 21-to-5, and also held the advantage in corner kicks, 9-to-0.
The Cardinals (3-2-1) return to action at home against St. Mary's (Md.) (2-2) on Tuesday, Sept. 17 with kickoff scheduled for 4:00p.m.
For more information on CUA Men's Soccer, visit the official athletics website www.cuacardinals.com.