Kicking It with the Purple Raiders Presented by Pelé Sports

MU Moves On

WILMINGTON, OH - October 31, 2011 - No. 5 seed Mount Union knocked off No. 4 seed Wilmington in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Tournament Monday night in Wilmington.

In their seventh OAC Tournament appearance, the Purple Raiders (11-7-2) won their first-ever match (1-4-2) and advance to the semifinals to take on top-seed and regular season champion Ohio Northern Wednesday at 2 pm in Ada.

Sophomore Thomas Beck scored the lone goal of the match as he hit in a header into the goal off a cross from freshman Chris Motley in the 54th minute. The Mount Union defense was strong as it allowed only one shot on goal for the evening and junior goalkeeper Jon Critell posted his eighth shutout of the season. 

ISN's coverage of Mount Union soccer is presented by Pelé Sports. Feeling and technique are the two qualities that reflect Pelé Sports: The brand philosophy combines the legendary Brazilian enthusiasm for playing football, along with top products that are designed to completely satisfy a footballer's every demand. The inspiration of the football legend Pelé, who is also directly involved in product development, can be felt in every product: Futebol bonito, regardless of who you are and where and how you play. This desire is combined with an outstanding price-performance ratio. The P-Sports company was founded in 2009 and has its US headquarters in Aspen, Colorado. A selected team of product design specialists and football experts are managing the international launch of the Pele Sports brand under license in June 2010. Sales and distribution through selected specialist sports stores will start with a mixture of the brand's own marketing and distribution subsidiaries and selected distribution partners.

MU Men Headed to OAC Tourney

WESTERVIILE, OHOctober 29, 2011 - A first half goal by Kevin Cindric was enough for the Mount Union men's soccer team to earn a 1-0 win on the road over Otterbein.

Cindric's goal came with under a minute remaining in the first half. He was able to gather a ball just outside the box and beat the keeper to give the Purple Raiders a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. This was the third goal of the week for Cindric, who scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Muskingum on Tuesday night. That was all of the scoring junior goalkeeper Jon Critell would need. Critell made two saves in recording his seventh shutout of the season. Otterbein (5-10-2, 3-6-0) goalkeeper Kyle Ripma made six saves.

The win clinches a second straight Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament appearance for Mount Union. The Purple Raiders (9-8-2, 4-3-2) will play Monday night at 7 p.m. and will learn their opponent upon the conclusion of tonight's Heidelberg at Wilmington match. 

Cindric the Hero for MU

ALLIANCE, OH - October 25, 2011 - Mount Union's men's soccer earned a crucial victory as they continue their quest for a berth in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.

Behind a pair of goals by Kevin Cindric, the Purple Raiders defeated Muskingum, 2-0, in their final home match of the regular season. Cindric wasted little time beginning his big night, scoring an unassisted goal in the box just over four minutes into the game. In the 59th minute, Jack Weber fed a beautiful pass in the box to Cindric, who was able to beat the keeper for the 2-0 lead. That is all of the offense that Mount Union goalkeeper Jon Critell would need. The junior made four saves in recording his sixth shutout on the season. Cindric narrowly missed his first collegiate hat trick. The senior put a rebound shot off the post in the 18th minute. Thomas Beck had a breakaway opportunity, but was turned away by Muskingum goalkeeper Hunter Huffman (nine saves). Cindric was in position for the putback, but saw the shot hit off the left post.

The Raiders return to action on Saturday when they travel to Westerville for the regular season finale with Otterbein. Mount Union will secure a spot in the OAC Tournament with a win, tie, or Capital loss to John Carroll. A win or tie paired with a Wilmington loss to Heidelberg will give the Raiders a first round home match for the second straight season. 

Beck's Goal Not Enough for MU Men

ALLIANCE, OH - October 22, 2011 - A goal Thomas Beck goal in the 31st minute was not enough as Mount Union dropped an Ohio Athletic Conference game to Capital by a 4-1 margin. Beck drilled in a scissor-kick off a perfectly placed pass in the box by Chris Motley in the 30th minute.

For Capital, Daniel McCarthy scored goals in the 38th and 73rd minute to power the Crusaders to their second league win. Also scoring for Capital was Nick Eley (18th minute) and Tim Rieser (88th minute). The loss drops Mount Union to 2-3-2 in the OAC, and 7-7-2 overall.

The Purple Raiders return to action Tuesday, as they host Muskingum at 7 p.m. 

B-W Downs Mount in Men's Soccer Action

BEREA, OH - October 19, 2011 - Mount Union's men's soccer team fell at Baldwin-Wallace, 2-1, Wednesday night. A win would have afforded the Purple Raiders (7-6-2, 2-2-2) some breathing room as they seek a second consecutive berth in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament. Ben Deighton scored in the 72nd minute to give the Yellow Jackets, ranked fourth in the region, the victory.

Chris Motley discarded a pair of defenders before scoring just before halftime for the Raiders to even the match at 1-1. Baldwin-Wallace struck first when the OAC's leading scorer, Carlin Vandendrirssche, scored on a pass from Noah Eubanks at the 32:08 mark.

Jon Critell made five saves in goal for the Purple Raiders. Ryan Hulings turned away eight shots for Baldwin-Wallace (14-2, 5-1). Mount Union will return to action on Saturday as they host Capital at noon. The team's nine senior players will be recognized prior to the game.  

Cindric's Goal Powers MU Men's Soccer over Heidelberg 

ALLIANCE, OH - October 15, 2011 - Kevin Cindric's goal in the 25th minute would prove to be all the scoring Mount Union men's soccer team would need as they defeated Heidelberg, 1-0 in Ohio Athletic Conference contest. Both teams seemed to be feeling each other out when Cindric drove the ball into the Heildelberg box and managed to sneak the ball past the keeper. Goalkeeper Jon Critell managed three saves as he recorded his fifth shutout of the year.

Mount Union held the advantage in shots (20-13) and shots on goal (10-3). For Heidelberg, goalkeeper Ryan Smith saved nine of ten shots on goal. The Purple Raiders pull themselves to 2-1-2 in the conference and 7-5-2 overall.

Mount Union returns to action Wednesday, October 19, when they travel to Berea to take on the Yellow Jackets of Baldwin Wallace.

MU Men's Soccer Takes Late Loss at John Carroll 

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH - October 11, 2011 - John Carroll rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to score a 2-1 overtime victory over Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's soccer match Tuesday night in University Heights.

Mount Union takes its first OAC loss of the season and falls to 6-5-2 overall and 1-1-2 in the OAC, while John Carroll stays unbeated in conference play at 4-0 and is 8-5 overall. The Purple Raiders got on the board in the 41st minute as Leo Hicks and Thomas Beck combined to feed Phil Spagnolo who scored and made the score 1-0 at the half. A physical second half continued and the game stayed 1-0 until Cory Rider scored in the 88th minute to tie the contest. Rider factored in the overtime as he was fouled in the box and converted the penalty kick in the 97th minute to put the game away.

Jon Critell did yeoman's work in goal as he had nine saves for Mount Union. Carl Contrascier had five saves for the Blue Streaks, who out-shot the Raiders 24-15. Mount Union returns home and hosts Heidelberg in an OAC matchup Saturday at 7 pm in Mount Union Stadium. 

Mount Union Men's Soccer Battles Marietta to 3-3 Draw

MARIETTA, OH - October 8, 2011 - The Mount Union men's soccer team remained unbeaten in Ohio Athletic Conference play with a 3-3 draw at Marietta Saturday afternoon. The Purple Raiders (6-4-2, 1-0-2) have now tied their last two matches.

Thomas Beck (Poland/Cardinal Mooney) opened the scoring with a goal in the 29th minute. A Marietta goal late in the first half sent the teams into halftime tied at one. In the opening minutes of the second half, Kevin Cindric positioned a cross in the box that Anthony Grenga was able to direct into the net with his head for Mount Union to regain the lead. Marietta responded with two goals of their own, the second coming with 5:13 remaining in the second half, to take the lead.

With defeat seeming inevitable, Joey Trocchio scored his first collegiate goal on a ball that deflected off the keeper as he attempted to clear the ball. Both teams took five shots in the two overtime periods, but neither was able to manage a goal. Jon Critell recorded three saves for Mount Union. Chris Stollar made nine saves for Marietta (1-9-1, 0-2-1).

Mount Union returns to action Tuesday night when they travel to University Heights to take on John Carroll. 

Beck's Late Goal Ties Game as Men's Soccer Ties Ohio Northern 

ALLIANCE, OH - October 1, 2011 - The Mount Union men's soccer team battled visiting Ohio Northern to a 1-1 tie at Mount Union Stadium.

The Purple Raiders (6-4-1) were outshot 36-9, but were able to turn back the Polar Bear attack several times. Thomas Beck scored the game-tying goal in the 77th minute for the Purple Raiders. Beck, tied for the OAC lead in goals scored, was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball in after a shot by Jack Weber ricocheted off the goalkeeper.

Christian Huelsman gave Ohio Northern a 1-0 lead with his goal in the 63rd minute. With 6:31 remaining in regulation, Huelsman appeared to score the go-ahead goal, but he was called offside and the goal was disallowed. Jon Critell stopped 11 shots for the Purple Raiders. The line of defense in front of him aided him with six blocks in the final 25 minutes of the match. Mac Church saved four shots for Ohio Northern (8-2-2).

Mount Union returns to action when they travel to Marietta for an Ohio Athletic Conference match next Saturday. 

Late Kowalewski Goals Helps MU Beat Wilmington

WILMINGTON, OH - September 24, 2011 - Kevin Kowalewski scored in the 89th minute to give the Mount Union men's soccer team a 1-0 victory over Wilmington.

The Purple Raiders (6-4) snapped to their two-game losing streak to begin Ohio Athletic Conference play 1-0. With the match in a scoreless tie, the Purple Raiders seemed to be headed to their first overtime game of the season. At the 88:41mark, Kevin Cindric sent a cross into the box to Kowalewski, who beat the goalie for his first goal of the season. Jon Critell made six saves for Mount Union to record his fourth shutout of the season. Wilmington goalkeeper Antonio Trujillo recorded four saves for the Quakers.

Mount Union returns to action next Saturday for a showdown with Ohio Northern, ranked 13th in the nation.

MU Men Fall Again to PA Team

GROVE CITY, PA - September 20, 2011 - Shutout for the first time all season, the Mount Union men's soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision at Grove City (Pa.) in their final non-conference match of the season. The Purple Raiders (5-4-0) will enter conference play on a two-game skid. An uneventful first half ended with the Purple Raiders and Grove City (4-3-0) in a scoreless tie. Both teams were only able to get one shot on goal in the half.

As in their previous match, the Purple Raider defense lapsed shortly after halftime. In the 47th minute, Grove City's Richie Kocur entered a cross into the box and teammate Mike Shupp was able to head it into the net to put the Wolverines ahead. Jon Critell had three saves in goal for Mount Union. Grove City's Caleb Koch stopped the only shot on goal by Mount Union.

The Purple Raiders open Ohio Athletic Conference play on Saturday when they head to Wilmington. 

MU Men Fall to Point Park

ALLIANCE, OH - September 18, 2011 - The Mount Union men's soccer team fell to Point Park (Pa.) by a score of 2-1. This was the second match for the Purple Raiders (5-3-0) in as many days.

After a scoreless first half, three goals were scored in the opening nine minutes of the second half. Point Park's Matt Annecchiarico opened the scoring with a goal off a pass from Jack Pilkinton in the 48th minute. Thomas Beck scored the lone goal for Mount Union in the 53rd minute when he gathered a deflection off the keeper and buried it into the net. Beck has now scored a goal in four straight games. In the 54th minute, Alex Sala scored to give Point Park a 2-1 lead. Beck had an opportunity to tie the match in the 88th minute, but goalkeeper Mitchell Kelman made a great save to preserve the victory. Kelman made four saves for the Pioneers. Jon Critell saved two shots on goal for Mount Union.

The Purple Raiders will play their fourth straight match against a school from Pennsylvania when they travel to Grove City (Pa.) on Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

Beck Scores Another

ALLIANCE, OH - September 17, 2011 - Thomas Beck scored his seventh goal of the season as the Mount Union men's soccer team picked up a 2-1 victory over Washington & Jefferson. The Purple Raiders (5-2) have won both of their home matches this season.

Photo Credit: Gary L. Moody Sr.Mount Union actually knocked fewer balls in goal than the visiting Presidents (2-3) despite winning on the scoreboard. The Purple Raiders got on the board first in the 29th minute when a cross by midfielder Chris Motley deflected off a Washington & Jefferson defender for a goal. The keeper stopped the ball mid-air just before crossing the goal line, but his momentum carried him across the line for the goal. Beck added a goal in the opening minutes of the second half off a giveaway by the defense to give the Purple Raiders a 2-0 lead. Goalkeeper Jon Critell made six saves in goal for Mount Union. Pete Tomlinson also made six saves for Washington & Jefferson. Ryan Suess scored their lone goal.

Mount Union returns to action tomorrow when they host Point Park (Pa.) at 1 p.m.  

MU Dominates Allegheny

ALLIANCE, OH - September 14, 2011 - The Mount Union men's soccer team defeated previously unbeaten and 24th-ranked Allegheny (Pa.), 3-0. Thomas Beck scored a pair of goals for the Purple Raiders (3-2) in the first half to help lead them to victory.

In the 9th minute, Beck took a pass from Chris Felker down the sideline, cut back to the middle, and buried the ball in the top of the net to give the Purple Raiders a 1-0 lead. Beck netted his second goal of the game shortly before halftime when he stole the ball from an Allegheny defender in the box and was able get his shot past the goalkeeper.

Chris Motley added the final score for Mount Union. After a shot by Beck, he was able to knock the ball free from the goalkeeper and into the net to seal the victory.

Jon Critell recorded the shutout for the Purple Raiders. He made six saves as Mount Union outshot Allegheny, 23-14.

The Gators had their best opportunity to score in in the 76th minute when Critell made a diving save of an Andrew Zimmer shot to the upper corner of the goal.

Allegheny (5-1) suffered their first loss of the season as goalkeeper John Lichina allowed three goals and made seven saves.

The Purple Raiders return to action Saturday, when they host the team that eliminated them from the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament last season, John Carroll at 1 pm. This will be both the first OAC game of the season for both teams.

Mount's Men Soccer Falls to Kenyon

SPRINGFIELD, OH - September 11, 2011 - Thomas Beck scored his fourth goal of the season, but it was not enough as the Mount Union men's soccer team dropped their second match in a row, 2-1 to Kenyon.

The match was delayed for nearly an hour in the first half due to lightning.

The Purple Raiders (3-2) trailed 1-0 when Beck netted his goal on a shot from the far side in the 34th minute.
With the score still tied the teams took cover after a streak of lightning with 4:13 remaining in the first half. The match was delayed for almost an hour before play resumed.

The match remained tied until Logan Konkol scored from 20 yards out in the 69th minute to give Kenyon (1-2-1) the lead.
A physical match from the onset, a total of six cards were given with five of them coming in the final 20 minutes of the match.

Jon Critell made two saves for Mount Union. Kenyon goalkeeper James Smith also made two saves for the Lords.
The Purple Raiders will play their next game against Wednesday against Allegheny (Pa.) at Mount Union Stadium.  This will be their first home match of the season.

Wittenberg Slip Past MU Men

SPRINGFIELD, OH - September 10, 2011 - Freshman Chris Motley scored his second goal of the season, but it was not enough as the Mount Union men's soccer team lost their first match at the Wittenberg Invitational. The Purple Raiders (3-1) fell to host Wittenberg, 2-1, for their first defeat of the season.

After falling behind, 2-0, Motley got the Purple Raiders on the scoreboard in the 38th minute. Phil Spagnolo sent a cross into the box that Motely was able to head into the back into the net. Unfortunately, that was the lone goal of the match for Mount Union.

Mount Union outshot Wittenberg (2-1), 11-7. Goalkeeper Jon Critell made three saves for the Purple Raiders.

Daniel Broidy and Stefan Latham scored goals for Wittenberg. Goalkeeper Michael Lambeck made six saves.

The Purple Raiders will play Kenyon tomorrow in their second match as part of the Wittenberg Invitational.

Good Start for MU Men's Soccer

NEW WILMINGTON, PA - September 7, 2011 - Freshman Chris Motley and sophomore Thomas Beck propelled the Mount Union men's soccer team to a 3-0 win on the road at Westminter (Pa.). The 3-0 start is the Purple Raiders' best since head coach John Witkowski took over the program in 2007.

After a scoreless first half, Motley scored in the 48th minute. Senior Kevin Cindric provided the assist on the play, his third of the season. The score remained 1-0 until the 68th minute when Beck was able to bury a shot in the back of the net. Motley and junior Leo Hicks contributed the assists on the goal. Beck added a goal for insurance in the 88th minute. Junior goalkeeper Jon Critell made four saves for his second shutout of the season and tenth of his career.

Adam Kephart made five saves for the Titans (1-1). The Purple Raiders complete their stretch of five games on the road to open the season when they participate in the Wittenberg Invitational this weekend. They will face host Wittenberg on Saturday and Kenyon on Sunday.

Soccer at a Football School

The University of Mount Union is best known for its American football team that has dominated the Division III landscape for many years. A closer look reveals a "sleeping giant" on the Mount campus, the men's soccer team. A trip to the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) playoffs last fall certainly raised expectations for the 2011 season as the Purple Raiders are viewed as one of the top contenders for the conference crown.

Photo Credit: Gary L. Moody Jr.Mount Union has a unique blend of youth and experience that has yielded a tremendously talented squad. Five of the newcomers are expected to compete for starting spots on an already stacked team.

It all starts at the goalkeeper position as junior Jon Critell returns to find himself among the top keepers in all of Division III. Critell, who finished 2010 with 92 saves and a 1.25 GAA, will anchor the defense along with a veteran backline that includes 1 junior and 3 seniors.

"I think a lot of coaches would love to have a goalkeeper like Jonathan Critell," Head Coach John Witkowski stated. "He is so smart and athletic and I feel very comfortable with him in the back."

Captain Anthony Grenga will be looked to provide leadership from his center back position, while junior Leo Hicks will be the key player in the middle after starting 19 games last season and registering 2 goals and 8 assists.

Senior Kevin Cindric and sophmore Thomas Beck will provide a potent 1-2 scoring punch upfront. Beck was a freshman sensation last fall, tallying 7 goals and 2 assists. Cindric is sure to improve on his 4 assists from 2010.

Blue-chip recruit Christopher Motley looks to be a player that could have a big impact early. The Saint Vincent/St. Mary's grad is versatile and could find himself in the mix as an outside mid or a striker. Motley even cracked the starting lineup for a scrimmage against Carnegie Mellon.

"He has a nose for the goal and he is also a tough defender," Witkowski declared. "I expect him to win a lot of 50/50 balls and get good pressure on the ball."

Mount Union will open conference play against Wilmington on September 24th after 8 non-conference matches that begin with the Lycoming Kick Off Classic on September 3.

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