Vassar captures Liberty League title
Mrlik delivers game-winning goal for Brewers with 5:56 left
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Vassar captured the Liberty League Championship for the first time in program history with a 3-2 victory against Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday afternoon at RIT Field. The Brewers qualify for the NCAA championships for the first time since 1999.
“This was our goal going into the season and this is why we worked so hard,” Vassar head coach Andy Jennings said.
In a fast-paced first half, Vassar took the lead twice only to have RIT even the score each time. With the game tied at 2-2 and 5:56 remaining, junior captain Zander Mrlik delivered the final goal to clinch the title. Senior Ross Macklin sent a free kick into the box from 35-yards out. Mrlik found space behind the pile and popped a header just inside the post for his first goal of the season.
“Ross has the best set pieces. I was triple-teamed but I knew he was going back post so I went right for the goal and got lucky,” Mrlik said. “Ross played an incredible game and he's our MVP today.”
Vassar applied pressure early with a goal by Juliano Pereira in the fifth minute to cap off an aggressive run of two long throw-ins and two corner kicks. Macklin sent the corner into the middle of the box, Tom Wiechert headed it out of the crowd, and Pereira ripped a volley from eight-yards out into the top right shelf to put Vassar ahead 1-0.
RIT replied in the 28th minute with as Matt Broedel struck a volley into the corner on an assist by Jimmy Forbes following a long throw-in to even the score at 1-1.
|Other Conference Championship Games|
|Capital Athletic||York 1, Salisbury 0|
|Little East||Eastern Connecticut 1, Keene State 0|
|Midwest||Carroll 2, Beloit 0|
|• Conference Championship Central|
Vassar sophomore Evan Seltzer gave the Brewers their second lead of the game in the 32nd minute with an acrobatic finish. Dante Varotsis flicked a lob pass across the box and Seltzer went airborne for a volley past the keeper inside the far post to regain the lead at 2-1 for the Brewers.
The Tigers evened the score for the second and final time on a penalty kick by Dan Holowaty in the 39th minute that squared things up at 2-2. RIT's Jon Rosebrook drew the foul in the box.