HANCOCK, Mich. (November 4, 2018) – In their final game of the 2018 season, SUNY Delhi men's soccer fought effortlessly in a memorable ACAA Championship matchup against Thomas More. Hosted by Finlandia University, both teams played through a snow storm that caused several breaks throughout the match in order to clear the field. After nearly 78 minutes of scoreless activity, the Broncos took a late 1-0 lead. But a bad bounce that resulted in a Thomas More goal with five seconds left in regulation caused the match to end in a 1-1 tie. Both sides opted to eschew overtime and decide the conference champion on penalty kicks, where the top-seeded Saints prevailed, 4-1.
Head coach Brian Mitko's team ended a stellar season with a 13-2-1 record. The Broncos entered Sunday's finals match winning ten straight games, including a double-overtime 2-1 win in Saturday's league semifinals over Pine Manor. In just Coach Mitko's second year at the helm, Delhi tallied its highest season win total since 2008. They also improved upon a 9-8 season from 2017, and marked the second straight year the team reached their conference championship. Heading into 2019, the team will begin their first year as members of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC), armed with an 11-game unbeaten streak.
Sunday's game was evenly matched, with Thomas More holding a slim 15-14 lead in shots and leading 10-7 in shots on goal. Broncos goalkeeper Marcos Andrino turned in a remarkable day in his final career game, collecting nine saves to keep Delhi in a position to take the lead. The Broncos were the first team to score at the 77:54 mark, where a Carlos Del Monte corner kick bounced across the box and past Saints keeper Jeff Paulin, where Stefan Correia headed in the go-ahead goal. With seconds remaining, Thomas More made one last charge, in which they crossed the ball from the left side that bounced off a Delhi defender and into the goal at 89:55.
With mounting snowy conditions, a decision was made by the referees and both coaches to not play overtime and declare the match officially as a tie, and that the ACAA Champion would be decided on penalty kicks. Both Delhi and T. More made their first round of PK's, but the Broncos were unable to convert on their next two, while the Saints scored their next three for the 4-1 penalty-kick decision.
Following the match, Andrino, Alhasane Sako and Brody Rettle were recognized to the ACAA All-Tournament Team. Andrino totaled 21 saves over both tournament games, including a season-high 12 saves against Pine Manor on Saturday. He allowed just two goals over 196:56 total minutes, and finished the year at 10-1-1 for a 19-10-1 career record. Sako scored the first goal in the team's semifinals match against the Gators, while Rettle was on hand to assist Sako's score, and ended the match by netting the game-winning goal in double overtime. Sako finished as the ACAA's leading scorer with 33 points on 15 goals and three assists, while Rettle led the ACAA with nine assists, and ranked second behind Sako with 31 points and 11 goals.