Penn College Men Seek Soccer 'Three-Peat' Sunday

Published 11.03.2006


The Wildcat men's soccer team poses for an exultant group photo after Wednesday's  semifinal win. (Photo by Victor Lis, father of player Stephen Lis)Throughout the season, the Pennsylvania College of Technology men's soccer team worked to get back to the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship.

The Wildcats qualified as the top seed for the playoffs and, despite being frustrated during most of Wednesday night's semifinal against Penn State Abington, finally prevailed, 1-0 in double overtime on a goal by Stephen Lis (Elliotsburg).

"We definitely outplayed Abington," Enrique Castillo, Penn College's first-year coach said afterward. "They compacted their defense on us," Castillo continued, pointing out that his squad outshot Penn State Abington, 14-1.

Now, the only thing standing in the way of the Wildcats winning their third straight conference title is Penn State Harrisburg, a team they beat 1-0 in overtime at Harrisburg. Penn College takes a 13-1-2 overall record into the 2 p.m. match at University Park; Penn State Harrisburg, moving up to NCAA Division III next year, is 12-4. Penn State Harrisburg advanced to the championship with a 7-2 win over Penn State Hazleton on Wednesday.

Reflecting on his team's semifinal win over Penn State Abington, Castillo said the one lesson learned is that patience and conditioning pay off.

"The guys are working very, very hard. ...In the overtime(s), we were really, really running. Our fitness was better and that's going to help... (And) eventually its (a goal) going to come," he said.

For the first time this season, Penn College will be playing on an artificial surface, but Castillo thinks that will work to his team's advantage.

"It's not going to be bumpy. You're going to know where you are passing the ball. We can move the ball, that's my style, and I think that's going to help. It'll be great for our style of soccer," the coach said.

"It's going to be tough, but I think we have a good chance of being victorious," Castillo said.