Senior midfielder Matthew Salvatore (Howell, N.J./Howell) had a goal and two assists to lead The University of Scranton men’s soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Juniata on Senior Day at Fitzpatrick Field on Saturday.
The victory improves the Royals to 13-1-2 overall and 6-1 in Landmark Conference play. They finished in a three-way tie for first and subsequently received the third seed by way of the conference’s tie-breaking procedure. Scranton will visit second-seeded Catholic on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a semifinal.
Scranton also received goals from sophomore forward Kevin Kozic (Raritan, N.J./Immaculata), senior midfielder Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) and senior forward Patrick R. Daly (Lebanon, N.J./Immaculata).
Kozic put the Royals ahead with nine minutes to play in the first half when he took a feed from sophomore midfielder Tom O’Connor (Great River, N.Y./St. John the Baptist) and connected from 21 yards out for his seventh goal of the season.
McGuiness doubled the Scranton lead with his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 54th minute when he scored from 14 yards out on a fed from Salvatore. Daly made it 3-0 at 60:37 with his third goal of the season on a header off a pass from Salvatore.
Juniata cut the lead to 3-1 just 29 seconds later, but the Royals wasted little time pushing the lead back to three when Salvatore scored 25 seconds after the Eagles’ goal. He tapped in a perfect feed from senior midfielder Patrick M. Daley (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas) for his fourth goal of the year. His two assists give him five this season.
The Royals dominated play most of the afternoon, outshooting Juniata, 30-7, including a 19-3 edge in the first half. Scranton also had eight corner kicks while Juniata (9-9, 1-6 Landmark) had none.
Scranton will have a shot at revenge against Catholic in Wednesday’s semifinal in Washington, D.C. The Cardinals handed the Royals their only loss of the season a week ago, 1-0.
Top seed Susquehanna will host Drew in the other semifinal on Wednesday at 7 p.m.