After 19-year tournament absence, Scranton returns to win 6-0
BABSON PARK, Mass. – Scranton waited nearly 20 years to return to the NCAA tournament. When the Royals got there Saturday morning, they wasted little time taking advantage of the moment.
Senior midfielder Bill McGuiness scored 35 seconds into the match and the Royals dominated in all phases en route to a 6-0 victory against Elms at Hartwell-Rogers Field.
McGuiness finished the day with two goals, and the Royals also received goals from sophomore forward Kevin Kozic, junior forward John Spadaro and freshman midfielder Michael Romano.
Kozic’s goal in the 13th minute on an assist by sophomore midfielder Rich Loeffler pushed the Royals’ lead to 2-0. Spadaro stretched it to 3-0 just before halftime off an assist from sophomore defender Tom O’Connor.
Scranton kept the pressure on to start the second half and Romano capitalized with a beautiful goal in the 52nd minute, and McGuiness tallied in the 56th minute for his second goal of the match. An own goal by Elms in the 59th minute completed the scoring.
McGuiness now has a team-leading 11 goals on the season while Kozic scored his 10th of the year. Spadaro and Romano each picked up their second goals of the year. Senior midfielder Matthew Salvatore, who assisted on McGuiness’s first goal, earned his fifth assist while O’Connor picked up his fourth and Loeffler tallied his third.
The NCAA victory was Scranton’s first since a 3-1 win against Muhlenberg in the opening round in 1990. Saturday marked the Royals’ first NCAA appearance since 1993, when they dropped a first-round match to Elizabethtown 2-0.
The Royals held a 24-9 advantage in shots and an 11-4 edge in corner kicks. Senior goalie James Dillon made three saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
Elms, which earned an automatic bid to the tournament by winning the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference title, saw its season end at 11-8-2.