Keuka College Wins 4-1; Advances to NEAC Finals

Keuka College Wins 4-1; Advances to NEAC Finals

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— Keuka College defeated Penn St.-Abington in the North Eastern Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Semi-Finals on Saturday by the score of 4-1.

Keuka College (12-3-3, 8-2-3 NEAC) advances on to the NEAC Championship game on Sunday. The Wolves will face top seeded Morrisville State College at 3pm.

The Wolves last went to the NEAC Championship game in 2008. It will be the seventh trip to the conference finals in school history. Keuka College is 5-1 in their previous six trips.

Seniors Paulin Kolodja and Rachid Blanken each had a goal and an assists for the Wolves. Freshman Chris Millard netted the eventual game-winner in the first half. Mike Pastorella added a goal and Willie Romero made six saves in the win.

The Wolves attacked the Nittany Lions off of the first touch of the ball. Keuka College had four shots in the opening 15 minutes of action. Their best chance came in the third minute. Rachid Blanken got the ball in the middle of the goal box and was able to ket the ball past the keeper. His attempt to the left post was cleared off the goal line by an Abington defender to keep the game scoreless. Minutes later, Christian Cupello let a 40 yard shot go that sailed just wide of the upper left corner.

Keuka College continued to attack and broke through in the 27th minute. Paulin Kolodja got loose 15 yards from goal. His shot beat the goalie to the short side of the 1-0 lead. The goal was his team-leading 14th of the season. As the first half wound down, Keuka doubled their lead. The Wolves beat the offsides trap and had a three-on-one braking down the field. Rachid Blanken crossed the ball to the far side where Chris Millard hit it into the open net for the two-goal advantage. The Wolves took that lead into the halftime break.

Penn St.-Abington possessed the ball in the beginning of the second half. The Nittany Lions drew one back as they headed in a goal in the 52nd minute. Abington continued to attack, but Keuka was able to turn their defense into offense. On the counterattack, some quick passes by Millard, Blanken, and Kolodja led to Mike Pastorella getting open on the right side of the box. The senior scored to regain the two-goal margin. In the 84th minute, Rachid Blanken put the game away as he dribbled past the keeper on a breakaway. Blanken put the ball into the open goal as Keuka College continued onto the 4-1 victory.