Despite going 1-3-1 during the regular season against other United East Volt Division playoff teams, Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s soccer coach Tyler Mensch welcomes the postseason challenge as his fifth-seeded Wildcats open at fourth-seeded St. Mary’s (Md) College at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Third-seeded Lancaster Bible College will host six-seeded Penn State Berks in Saturday’s other Volt first-round match, while top-seeded Penn State Abington and second-seeded Penn State Harrisburg earned first-round playoff byes.
Reaching the postseason for the first time since 2018, Penn College scored a 1-0 win against Berks, tied Harrisburg 2-2, lost to Abington 2-1, lost to St. Mary’s 3-1 and lost to Lancaster Bible College 1-0 as it was outscored 8-5.
“Our goal every year is to make it to the UEC playoffs, and this year, we are excited to be back in the playoffs and embrace the underdog mentality as a lot of teams continue to overlook us,” the eighth-year coach said.
“Defensively, we have been as advertised and much improved compared to years past. Our goal against per game is 1.13, and the general rule of thumb is to be at 1.00 or below as a team, and statistically, that will lead to better results,” Mensch said, adding, “Center-back Tommy DeGeyter, of Long Valley, New Jersey, has been a lockdown defender all year and should receive another all-conference nod.
“Offensively, we have struggled a bit to put teams away with a second goal. We have lacked a little bit in our finishing and don’t have a true out-and-out striker whom we can trust to get a goal. We score by committee and do a really good job of scoring on set pieces, which is a big part of the game.
“The UEC, in 2023, has the most parity the league has ever seen. There isn’t a true frontrunner who has taken 100% control of the conference standings. We have played with every team in the conference and it will come down to who pays attention to detail the most. Playoff games are generally low-scoring with solid goalkeeping play, so I like our chances to make a little noise in the playoffs.
“In the playoffs, you have to have a survive and advance mentality and I know we will be up for the challenge.”
Final UE Volt Division standings: Penn State Abington 5-0-1 (16 points),Penn State Harrisburg 3-0-3 (12), Lancaster Bible College 4-2 (12), St. Mary’s (Md.) 3-1-1 (10), Penn College 2-3-1 (7), Penn State Berks 1-4 (3), Gallaudet University 0-6 (0).
(NOTE: Win=3 points, Tie=1 point).
Final UE Skye Division standings: Rosemont College 7-0-1 (22 points), Cairn University 6-0-2 (20), St. Elizabeth University 4-1-2 (14), Bryn Athyn College 4-4 (12), Keystone College 3-3-2 (11), Notre Dame (Md.) 3-4-1 (10), Clarks Summit University 2-5-1 (7), Wilson College 1-4-3 (6), Valley Forge 0-7 (0).
Saturday, Oct. 28 — Volt Division first round (Penn College (5) at St. Mary’s (Md.) College (4) (St. Mary’s leads series 3-0), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28 — Volt Division first round (Penn State Berks (6) at Lancaster Bible College (3) (Berks leads 7-5-3), TBA
Monday, Oct. 30 — Volt Division semifinals (low seed at No. 1, high seed at No. 2), TBA
Wednesday, Nov. 1 — Volt Division final, TBA
Saturday, Nov. 4 — UE Championship, TBA
For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website.