Messiah throttles Centenary 9-1 in the first round of tournament
SALISBURY, Md. -- Messiah put an end to its nine-day layoff in loud fashion, winning 9-1 against Centenary (N.J.) on Saturday to advance to the second round. Joshua Wood tallied twice for the Falcons as Messiah outshot the Cyclones 29-4.
The loss for Centenary completes the season at 12-6-3 while Messiah moves to 19-1-1. The Falcons advance to Sunday's second round game with Salisbury, who defeated Greensboro 4-0.
Messiah went up 1-0 in just the eighth minute of play on a goal by Jeremy Payne. His shot from the left side of the box bounded off the right and into the net for the early lead. Just six minutes later, Wood doubled the Falcons' lead with an impressive header off a serve from Jack Thompson.
The Falcons were in total control early, but Luis Martin surprised the Falcons' defense and keeper Brandon West with an impressive strike from 30 yards out on the left side that tucked inside the far post. His seventh goal of the season briefly cut the Cyclones' deficit to a single goal before the Falcons scored twice more before the break.
Jack Thompson's score came less than four minutes after Martin's as he attacked into the box from the left side to go one-on-one with keeper Jesse Goleman. A quick strike far post reestablished Messiah's two-goal lead.
Danny Brandt scored in the 35th minute off a cross from Robby Johnson. Brandt leaned into a header near the far, left post on the cross for his sixth goal of the season.
Passing sharply and with impressive speed of play, Messiah blew open the game early in the second-half. Sheldon Myer put the Falcons up 5-1 with a shot from the right corner of the 18-yard line in the 47th minute and, less than 10 minutes later, Wood put through his second goal of the game by following a saved shot from Mike Kovach.
Firmly ahead now 6-1, Messiah went up 7-1 in the 58th minute on an own goal by Centenary as they were unable to clear a corner that was sent to the goal line.
Danny Rowe put Messiah up 8-1 in the 69th minute on a breakaway behind the defense and, exactly 10:01 later, Raul Serrano saw his shot roll over the goal line to complete the scoring.
As mentioned, Messiah outshot Centenary 29-4 and also finished with a 12-0 edge in corners. Goleman made six saves for the Cyclones.
Messiah's match-up with Salisbury on Sunday will be at 1:30 p.m. on the Sea Gulls' home field. The two teams have not met since the Falcons defeated the Sea Gulls 1-0 in the 2004 national semifinal.