The men’s soccer team met an unfortunate fate this weekend as it saw its season come to an early end.
Entering the game, the men needed a win against Elizabethtown College Saturday, and losses or ties from both Moravian and Goucher in order to advance to the Landmark Conference playoffs.
With a 0-0 tie with the Blue Jays, the Royals lost a three-way tie for the final playoff spot to Goucher, which held the best record against the other two teams. The men finished the season with a 9-6-3 record overall and a 3-3-3 record in conference play.
The team will graduate three seniors who were pivotal to its performance over the last four seasons. Senior forward and co-captain Kevin Kozic finished his career with 20 goals (10 game-winners) and six assists in 68 appearances. Senior midfielder and co-captain Rich Loeffler ended his career with nine goals (four game-winners) and seven assists in 71 games. Senior midfielder Tom O’Connor closed his career with seven assists in 56 appearances.
In the seniors’ final season, they started off with an impressive 3-0 record in conference play, sitting at the top of the conference table. The team then went on a difficult scoreless streak of three games, creating an uphill battle back into playoff contention. With only one goal in the final six games of the season, the Royals were never able to return to their early-season form.
Even after such an unfortunate ending to the season, Loeffler said he will remember much from this season.
“This season was a roller coaster,” Loeffler said. “Even though we did not get the result that we hoped for, the 2014 season was filled with memories that my teammates and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
The team hopes to bounce back next year behind the leadership of current juniors, co-captain Michael Dorney, Michael Romano and Ryan Smith and current sophomores, goalkeeper Eric Hintz and midfielder Michael Bergen. With such young talent, expect the Royals to return hungry next season.