For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Millersville men’s soccer team won the PSAC Championship. The Marauders captured the title Sunday in Erie with a 1-0 win over PSAC East rival West Chester.
A streak of three consecutive PSAC titles from 2018-21 was broken up by missing the postseason entirely in 2022, but the Marauders triumphantly reclaimed that championship–the fifth in program history–using a goal from Aaron Maynard in the 16th minute of play and an outstanding defensive effort in which Travis Holiday made four saves for a fifth-straight shutout. Fittingly, Steve Widdowson, the Marauders’ coach for all five of their conference championships, earned his 200th victory on Sunday as well.
The two familiar foes were scoreless until a pair of senior defenders combined for the game-winner. Christian Vorchheimer drew a foul on a hard tackle 40 yards from the goal. Mike Kreider took the free kick, and PSAC East Defensive Athlete of the Year Aaron Maynard sprinted into the center of the box, out-leaped his defender and placed a header just under the crossbar.
With the championship in the balance, the second half was played with even more intensity than the first. West Chester applied heavy pressure on Millersville’s end of the field with six shots, but the Marauder defense and Holiday remained dominant, preventing the Golden Rams from finding their way on to the board. Holiday made three saves in the match’s final 20 minutes.
For the second time in his career, Bob Hennessey was awarded PSAC Tournament MVP after tallying four goals in the semifinal victory over Seton Hill.
The win secures Millersville an NCAA Tournament berth, and the Marauders will find out their seeding on Monday during the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Selection Show at 7 p.m. on NCAA.com.
POSTGAME REACTION FROM HEAD COACH STEVE WIDDOWSON
• On the team’s play throughout the tournament: “Obviously the semifinal I thought we were absolutely dynamic, superb, and put on a great show and really represented what Millersville soccer is about. As expected the final was lot closer, more physical and more competitive, as these two teams who know each other very well. I think we played well and we showed enough to get our noses ahead and then defended like warriors to make sure we could see the game out. Overall, I think we deserved it just slightly. West Chester was great, and they pushed us all the way, and I could not be prouder of the two performances we put on this weekend.”
• On moving on to the NCAA Tournament: “I mean, I think we would get a home game. We are hot right now and defending superbly, which always gives you a chance. We got the one we wanted and now we can celebrate, get a good week of training in, and then see where the journey takes us.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
• Millersville out-shot the Golden Rams 15-8.
• The Marauders had six corner kicks while West Chester had four.
• With three shots a piece, Maynard and Hennessey led the Marauders offense. Kreider and Zander Leik recorded two each, and Connor Fiadino, Brendan Corpus, Jake Altimore, and Haven Thomas contributed with shots as well.
• Millersville has won their last nine matches entering the NCAA Tournament.