WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's soccer team finished the 2013 season with a 12-6-2 record, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time under seventh-year Head Coach Travis Beauchamp.
From September 25 to November 2, the Cardinals had a nine-game unbeaten streak, including a seven game win streak, as they moved their way to the top of the Landmark standings. The Cardinals earned the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Tournament after going 5-1-1 in conference play. Despite their home field advantage, the Cards were knocked out of the semifinal game 3-1 by No. 4 Juniata.
With their backs against the wall, the Cardinals received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after putting together a strong regular season resume, with quality wins against automatic-qualifiers, Greensboro and Susquehanna.
The Cardinals traveled to Carlisle, Pa., for its first-round matchup with Franklin & Marshall, the Centennial Conference Champions, on Saturday, Nov. 16. CUA had its hopes of advancing to the second round struck down when the Diplomats scored off of a corner kick in the 88th minute for a narrow 1-0 victory.
Five times this season, a Cardinal was named the Landmark Player of the Week for their efforts on the pitch. Ian Smith earned the Offensive POW honor for the first week of the season, scoring in both of the team's games. Kevin Romano earned the Defensive POW on October 7 for shutting out Moravian, then turned around and won the Offensive POW award the following week, scoring back-to-back game winners for the Cardinals. Chris Larson and Torsten Meuschke were the final Offensive and Defensive POWs of the season for leading Catholic to a 1-0 record to clinch the No. 1 seed. Larson scored the game-winning goal, while Meuschke picked up his seventh shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory at Scranton.
Following the completion of the conference tournament, six Cardinals were named All-Landmark, including Ben Fernandez who was tabbed the Landmark Defensive Player of the Year. Joining him on the First Team were midfielders Kevin Romano and Hunter Horvath. Defenders Ethan DaPonte and Joe Taylor earned Second Team laurels for the Cardinals, as did goalkeeper Torsten Meuschke.
Catholic says goodbye to its seven seniors: Ethan DaPonte, Ben Fernandez, Earl Hamilton, Chris Larson, Justin Oloriz, Kevin Romano, and Ian Smith. The Class of 2014 won one Landmark Conference Championship in 2010, and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. For their careers, they put together a 50-22-7 record on the pitch.
Catholic was regionally ranked in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic poll for five straight weeks, reaching as high as No. 4 on November 5. The Cardinals also broke into the national rankings, entering at No. 24 in the NSCAA also on November 5. CUA finishes the season ranked No. 8 in the Mid-Atlantic poll.
In the classroom, Catholic had eight men's soccer players named to the Landmark Fall Honor Roll which recognizes student-athletes of sophomore standing or older with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher. The Cardinals were represented by Nico Bartolomeo, Nick Civetti, Hunter Horvath, Connor Keale, Torsten Meuschke, Ben Sykes, Joe Taylor, and Tyler Zimmerman on the Landmark Honor Roll.
Nico Bartolomeo was named to the first-ever Landmark All-Sportsmanship Team which recognizes student-athletes who epitomize the ideals of sportsmanship. The student-athletes selected demonstrate fair play, graciousness in victory and respectful in defeat. They are ambassadors for the team, both on and off the field, and galvanize their teammates toward their goals. These student-athletes exhibit respect for themselves, teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, spectators, and the greater campus community.