Rangers Men’s Soccer Makes Semi-Finals

by Mary Laut

7 mins read

The Drew men’s soccer team made it into the semifinals of the Landmark Conference (LC) with a 3-0 win against the Moravian Greyhounds. Matthew Agudelo (’24) picked an opportune time to score his first two collegiate goals. His goals lifted the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over Elizabethtown College in the semifinals of the LC Championships Tuesday, Nov. 2, in Ranger Stadium.

The match followed nearly an identical script as the previous meeting between the two teams in Ranger Stadium back on Oct. 23, when Drew scored late before Elizabethtown tied it to force overtime, and  the Rangers eventually won.

This time around, Agudelo (’24) scored directly on a corner kick in minute 68 before Elizabethtown tied it up shortly after. With just over three minutes remaining, Ryan LaRocca (G ’22) launched a throw-in from the right corner and into the box. After it bounced off several players, Patrick Catillo (’23) got a foot on it for the Rangers, slipping the ball to Agudelo, who was wide open on the left side. He one-timed it high into the net, setting off a wild celebration on the field. With less than three minutes left before penalty kicks in double overtime, Agudelo settled it for the Rangers, sending Drew to its first LC  final since 2017.

Calum Erlenborn (‘22) stood tall in net once again for the Rangers, tying a career high for the second game in a row with six saves. 

Photo courtesy of Drew University Athletics Department.

With Drew’s fifth win in a row, the second-seeded Rangers marched into the LC championship match to compete against top-seeded Catholic University. Drew and Catholic met in the Landmark Conference Championships for just the third time in postseason history and the first time in the conference final. The game took place on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Catholic University.

The Drew University men’s soccer team saw its magnificent late-season run come to a close with a 2-0 loss to Catholic University in the final.

The Rangers saw their five-game winning streak come to an end and finished the season with a 9-8-1 record. 

Drew out-shot Catholic 15-10, but tournament MVP Austin Coron finished with six saves for the Cardinals. With the win, the Catholic University received the conference’s automatic bid in the NCAA Division III Championships.

The Cardinals struck early, scoring in the sixth minute off a goal from Owen Maher, who knocked in a corner kick to the far post. The Rangers out-shot the hosts 6-4 in the opening half, when Coron made two saves on a pair of shots from Christian Tyson (’24). Drew threatened to tie it early in the second half, gaining three consecutive corners in a one-minute span, but was unable to gain a shot on goal during the stretch. The Cardinals scored the game’s final goal in minute 54, when Connor Logsdon converted off another corner kick. Coron made the lead stand up for Catholic, recording all four of his second-half saves following Logsdon’s goal. Tyson, Kevin Kiernan (’25) and Mike Dilger (’23) all placed shots on frame in the final 29 minutes. The Rangers also nearly scored on a penalty kick that bounced off the post.

Erlenborn (’22) turned aside four shots on goal for the Rangers.

Following an outstanding season, four members of the Drew University men’s soccer team have captured a spot on the All-Landmark Conference Team.

Defender LaRocca (G’24), midfielder Agudelo and midfielder Kiernan all earned first-team recognition while forward Tyson captured a spot on the second team.

It was the first all-conference award for all four Rangers.

LaRocca was an integral part of the team, playing every minute of every game. He helped lead a defensive unit that yielded a conference-low five goals in seven Landmark games and posted four shutouts, including three in conference play. LaRocca also contributed offensively with three assists, tying for second on the team.

Agudelo made his mark as a playmaker throughout the season and led the team with four assists. A corner kick specialist, he assisted on both of his team’s goals in a 2-1 Landmark Conference win over Goucher, with both goals coming off corners. In the postseason, he scored his first two official goals in the team’s 2-1 double-overtime win over Elizabethtown. Agudelo scored directly off his own corner kick in regulation, then drilled in a golden goal in the minute 108 to send Drew to the Landmark final.

Kiernan made a big splash during his debut season, leading the team with eight goals, a mark that is currently tied for fourth among the LC leaders. He posted his first collegiate multi-goal game when he scored twice in a 3-2 win over DeSales. He also scored in four straight games late in the season, with his final three helping kick off the team’s big winning streak late in the year. Kiernan is just the fifth Drew freshman to earn All-Landmark honors and only the second to capture first-team accolades.

Tyson also established himself as an offensive threat in his first year with the Rangers, tying for second on the team in both goals (four) and assists (three). He posted one goal and one assist versus Manhattanville, and he also scored a golden goal in a 1-0 overtime win over Wilkes. He also scored one goal apiece versus LC opponents Catholic and Moravian.

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