Men's Soccer Crowned SSC Tournament Champions!

Men's Soccer Crowned SSC Tournament Champions!
The Barry men's soccer team celebrating after winning the SSC Tournament. Photo by Andy Meng.

TAMPA, Fla.—With 6:27 to play, sophomore Mark Anderson blasted the game winning goal in a 2-0 win over the Tampa Spartans to take home the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship for the Barry men’s soccer team.

Barry (14-5-1) beat the #2 seed Tampa Spartans at Tampa’s home field, Pepin Stadium on Sunday in thrilling fashion. After 83:00 minutes of play Anderson broke the scoreless tie on a shot from 20 yards out. A deflected pass was sent to the box from the sideline just above the touch line. The ball caromed high off a Tampa player and on the rebound Anderson smashed a left-footed volley into the top corner of the net to give Barry a 1-0 lead.

“I don’t think we played our best, but we did the important things today,” head coach Steve McCrath said. “Their attacking third was very impressive but our back third was just better. Anderson’s strike was emphatic. When you get to the championship level you have to put things away and he did exactly that. The insurance goal was vital too. Usually Anderson would just dribble the ball, but he passed it to Kilpatrick and Kilpatrick did exactly what he needed to do and finished.”

Anderson earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player honors. Accompanying him on the all-tournament team were midfielder Sascha Koettig, defenders Joao Garcia and Rodrigo Mancenido, and freshman goalkeeper Johnny Rodrigues.

The second goal came after the Spartans' defense was pressed forward in a desperation move to tie the game. The Spartans' strategy backfired and created a two-on-one opportunity for the Buccaneers between Anderson and Mark Kilpatrick. Anderson fed Kilpatrick for a shot that just crawled past Tampa goalkeeper Ryan Thompson at the 86:56 mark.

SSC Freshman of the Year Johnny Rodrigues earned another shutout. Rodrigues did not allow a goal throughout the entire SSC Tournament. The clean sheet gives Rodrigues eight on the season. The freshman keeper faced a total of 23 shots and made six saves against Tampa on Sunday.

The previous meeting between Tampa and Barry on Sept. 26 resulted in a 2-1 Tampa victory. Since that game Barry has gone on to win 11 out of its last 12 games.

The win all but guarantees the Buccaneers a spot in the NCAA Tournament next weekend. The team will find out who they face and when Monday night with the official NCAA Tournament selection and schedule is released.

                                            Soccer Game Summary (Final) 
                                              2009 Barry University Soccer
                                    Barry vs Tampa (11/08/2009 at Tampa, Fla)

Barry (14-5-1) vs. Tampa (15-2-1)
Date: 11/08/2009 Attendance: 206
Weather: Excellent Soccer Weather

Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Barry…............... 0 2 - 2
Tampa............... 0 0 - 0

1. 83:33 BUM Mark Anderson (16) (unassisted)
2. 86:56 BUM Mark Kilpatrick (Mark Anderson) - breakaway 2-on-1

Shots: Barry 14, Tampa 23
Saves: Barry 6 (Johnny Rodrigues 6), Tampa 5 (Ryan Thompson 5)