ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's soccer team is set to host No. 4 seed Franciscan in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) semifinals Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions (14-4) have won three titles in the past four years. The Barons (11-5-2) are looking for their first AMCC crown.
Franciscan and the Lions will kick off at 2:00 p.m. on the Behrend turf to decide which team will advance to the AMCC championship game. The winner of this matchup will play the winner of No. 2 Mount Aloysius and No. 3 Medaille on Saturday.
Behrend is looking to keep the AMCC trophy for the second consecutive year, after defeating Medaille 4-0 in last season's title game.
In the Lions 1-0 win over Franciscan at home, freshman Richard Blanchard (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) scored the game-winner in the 80th minute. Blanchard hit a rocket from 25 yards out to notch his sixth goal of the season, three of which being game-winners.
Scoring is widespread for the Behrend this season. Matt Dziadosz (Leechburg, PA/Kiski Area) leads all scorers with 24 points (7 goals, 10 assists). Aaron Harris (Washington, PA/McGuffey) is tied for first with seven goals and is second on the team with four assists. Blanchard is third in points and goals (12, 6), respectively, while Christian Eckberg (Norwin, PA/Norwin) is fourth on the team in points with eight.
The Lions defense is led by senior captain Josh Kolarac (Imperial, PA/West Allegheny) and sophomore Andrew Mastovich (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional). The two have helped Behrend post 10 team shutouts during the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Ralph (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) is ranked first in the AMCC in goals-against average (0.67) while holding second in save percentage (.791) and also least amount of goals given up (9).