Oct. 30, 2010

Courtesy of Elizabethtown Athletics

GRANTHAM, Pa. - A tenacious effort by the Elizabethtown men's soccer team against No. 3 Messiah, the two-time defending Division III National Champions, wasn't enough as a hat trick by Nick Thompson lifted the Falcons to a 3-1 win Saturday night in a Commonwealth Conference game at Grantham.

The win secures the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament for the Falcons (16-1, 7-0 CC). It's a seed that was earned the hard way though. Thompson opened the game with a goal at 7:11 when he headed in a pass from Derek Black.

Not that it would expect anything but the best from its fiercest rival in the conference, Messiah suddenly found itself in uncommon territory: tied! Ross Withrow became the first opposing player to put a ball in the back of the Messiah net in the last nine games as he finished off a Javeim Blanchette pass at 15:30 to knot the game at one.

The Blue Jays (12-2-2, 6-1 CC) were met by a stubborn Falcon bunch at Shoemaker Field Saturday. Shortly after Withrow tied the game, Thompson put Messiah back in front with his second of the evening. This time it was Geoff Pazon that found Thompson with the pass and the senior beat Eric Carr from nine yards out.

Thompson would cap the night by taking another pass from Pezon and finishing it off for the hat trick at 87:24.

Elizabethtown, which will be the No. 2 seed when the conference tournament starts next week, took all four of its shots in the first half and was outshot for the game, 12-4. Messiah took the only four corner kicks in the contest.

Carr, who saw his string of four straight shutouts come to an end, finished his scoreless streak at 529:49. He made three saves in defeat. Jake Berry made one save in earning the victory for Messiah.

E-town will open post-season play by hosting Arcadia in a Commonwealth Conference Semifinal game at Ira R. Herr Field Tuesday night at 7 p.m.