Nov. 6, 2008
WASHINGTON - The American University men's soccer team will play its final regular season game on Saturday before heading into the Patriot League Tournament. The Eagles will host the Bucknell Bison at Reeves Field at 1 p.m. and will honor their five graduating seniors prior to the start of the game. Chipotle Youth Soccer Day will also be held prior to the game which will feature a youth clinic and free burritos courtesy of Chipotle to the first 500 fans in attendance.
The Eagles head into the match with a berth to the post-season conference tournament already in hand due to a 2-0 win over Army on Monday. American needs a win to keep its hosting chances alive, while Bucknell needs a win to get into the tournament. Two other league games on Saturday will also play a major factor in the final seedings in the tournament, with Holy Cross playing at Lafayette at 1 p.m. and Lehigh playing at Colgate at 7 p.m. Both Holy Cross and Colgate have clinched berths, while Lehigh and Lafayette need results to earn the final bid.
A year ago, Bucknell (8-7-3, 3-3-0 PL) spoiled American's chance to earn the final seed in the PL tournament, defeating the Eagles by a 3-0 score in the season finale. This year, AU has a chance for retribution, as Bucknell can only advance with a win and some help elsewhere.
"This is a great opportunity for our seniors and our program to hopefully put ourselves in a position to win against Bucknell and host the Patriot League tournament," said AU head coach Todd West. "We have been very good defensively and at the other end of the field have found some timely goals from many different spots. We are looking forward to a great environment and I wish to thank Chipotle for their generosity and support of the AU men's soccer program and the AU athletic department in general."
The Eagles have had a very balanced offense this season, with 11 different players tallying at least one goal and seven players with multiple goals on the season. Jack Scott leads American in points with a late-season surge, suppying four goals and an assist for nine points. Anthony Moy trails by just a point with four goals, while Karsten Smith and Danny Shannon have each scored three times.
Matt Makowski has been solid in net for American this season, recording four shutout wins in league play. He has been aided by a strong defense anchored by Cooper Bryant, Smith, Alex Tillati, Dor Yasur and Phil Purdy, who have allowed just 36 shots on goal in six contests (6.0 per game).