Dec. 6, 2008

 

Courtesy of Greensboro College

GREENSBORO, N.C.—Messiah College senior goalkeeper Nick Blossey stopped three Stevens Institute of Technology attempts in a 2-1 shootout victory to capture the sixth NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer National Championship in school history. The game-winner came on a shot by Nick Thompson.

Blossey, whose only playing time in the game game was in the shootout, was named the tournament's outstanding player. The win was the first of the year for the senior goalkeeper.“It was really nothing different for me," said Blossey. 

"I knew coming in what I need to do. As goalkeepers we had trained for this all season.” 

"We've been in shootouts before and decided to go with Blossey," said Falcon Head Coach Dave Brandt. "Sometimes we go with Jared Clugston (2 saves), but Nick does well in shootouts and we decided to go with him this week if we got to this situation."

Messiah sixth championship is an NCAA Division III record. The Falcons surpassed UNC Greensboro, which is now an NCAA Division I institution. UNCG emerged victorious in 1982 and ’83, before winning three consecutive from 1985-87.

The title was also the third of six seniors. Those six seniors finished with a combined record of 88-6-4 (.898 winning percentage). The Falcons also won in Greensboro in 2004 and '05. 

Messiah College ends with a record of 22-2-2, while Stevens Institute of Technology caps off the 2008 campaign at 19-3-4.

The six members of the Ducks senior class close out their collegiate careers at 75-6-11 (.815 winning pct.), including the appearance in a National Championship game in its athletic history. Stevens had never made it past the sweet 16 until 2008.

“It’s the best soccer match that I have ever been a part of, said Stevens Head Coach Tom O’Donohue. "It has been a great run and I’m proud of our team.” 

Danny Thompson netted the match’s first goal at the 2:52 mark, scoring a header off a free kick by Geoff Pezon.

The score remained 1-0 in favor of Messiah until senior Jeremy Lippel converted a deflection shot just inside the box at 79:59 for the tie.

With the score tied through the remainder of regulation and two overtime periods, it moved to a shootout with Messiah successful on back-to-back shots by J.D. Binger and Geoff Pezon. Blossey held court with saves against the Ducks Jason Nachman, Peter Bednarsky and Lippel. Thompson decided the match with a shot to the right center of Zach Carr. Carr turned away the Falcons on two occasions.

The Falcons finished with a slight edge in shots (15-12) and corner kicks (5-3).

2008 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer All-Tournament Team
Matt Lamale, Loras College, Sophomore, M
Santiago Mejia, Loras College, Junior, M
G.L. Genco, Amherst College, Junior, M
Jake Duker, Amherst College, Senior, F
Jeremy Lippel, Stevens Institute of Technology, Senior, F
Terrence Johnson, Stevens Institute of Technology, Junior, F
Nolan Sandberg, Stevens Institute of Technology, Sophomore, M
Geoff Pezon, Messiah College, Sophomore, M
J.D. Binger, Messiah College, Senior, D
Danny Thompson, Messiah College, Freshman, F

Most Outstanding Player
Nick Blossey, Messiah College, Senior, GK

Post Game Quotes/Stevens Institute of Technology vs. Messiah College

“We’ve been down before and fought back. On my goal, I saw the far post and hit it as hard as I could.” 
-Jeremy Lippel of Stevens

“As the game went on, we knew we could play with them. I have faith that this team can come back and return here next year.”
Nolan Sandberg of Stevens

“They played great soccer. They are a very organized team and skillful. We knew that it would be a tough game.” 
Messiah College Coach Dave Brandt 

“We just did what we needed to do in order to win, returning to the basics of passing the ball and playing as team.”
J.D. Binger of Messiah College