Drexel's men's soccer team used an early goal and a sterling defensive performance to bring home its first Colonial Athletic Association title with a 1-0 victory over William & Mary at Vidas Field. Freshman defender Jameson Detweiler's first-half goal proved to be the difference in the tightly contested match.
Dragons, guided by Head Coach Doug Hess, will return to the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight season after holding a high-powered Tribe offense, which had scored six goals in its semifinal victory over UNC Wilmington, to just nine shots, four of which went on goal.
Freshman goalkeeper Tyler Afflerbach came up with four saves to earn the shutout. The Tribe's best offensive opportunity came late in the first half, when a shot hit the post to Afflerbach's left before ricocheting back into play where a Dragon defender cleared it out of the box.
Senior defender and captain Tal Bublil
was named the CAA Championships Most Outstanding Performer, anchoring the defense which handed the nationally ranked William & Mary team its first shutout since September 13. He was joined on the All-Championships Team by Afflerbach, sophomore forward Joaquin del Rosario who scored twice in the semifinal against Delaware, and senior midfielder Ken Tribbett
The Dragons scored their goal off a corner kick in the 26th minute of play. Michele Pataia
inserted a ball to the front of the net, where Detweiler got a head on the ball and knocked it straight down to his feet. He steadied himself and put his first collegiate shot past William & Mary goalkeeper Mac Phillips, giving the Dragons a lead they would not relinquish.
Drexel will travel to play former conference foe Old Dominion on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in Norfolk, Va. The Monarchs posted a 10-5-1 record this season, their first as a member of Conference USA, and lost to Kentucky in overtime of their conference tournament. Drexel defeated an 11th-ranked Old Dominion last season, in the teams' final meeting as CAA rivals, 4-1 at Vidas Field.
For tournament and ticket information visit: http://www.ncaa.com/championships/soccer-men/d1/tickets