First-Half Rally Lifts AU to Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup Title

First-Half Rally Lifts AU to Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup Title

FAIRFAX, Va. – American University picked up three first-half goals and made the offensive outburst stand up as it took a 3-1 victory over George Mason on Sunday to win the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup men's soccer tournament.

The Eagles swept to the title by going unbeaten in two games. AU beat George Washington, 2-1, on Friday and ended the event as the lone side that went 2-0.
 
On Sunday, American took an early lead in the 20th minute after a corner kick taken by Liam Robley found junior Dale Ludwig, who headed the ball past George Mason keeper Steffen Kraus.
 
American extended its lead only six minutes later after another corner led to junior Joe Iraola firing a shot at Kraus who made the initial save. But center back Michael Cherry was there to put the ball in the back of the net following the rebound.
 
The Eagles extended their lead to 3-0 with 10 seconds left in the first half when sophomore Vinny Barone won a penalty for his team, which Robley comfortably tucked in the bottom corner.
 
Mason looked to rally in the second half with a long throw-in that made it past AU keeper Dylan Hobert, but junior Jake Garcia cleared the ball off the goal line to prevent the Patriots from scoring.
 
The sole Mason goal came with 11 minutes remaining in the match when a cross by Patriot forward Matt Tucker reached freshman Stephen Durbin who placed his headed shot perfectly into the goal.
 
"It was a great win over a very talented and well-coached George Mason program," said American head coach Todd West. "It shows us a glimpse of what we're capable of, and I think we have a great group."
 
Winning the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup has special meaning for the Eagles, given that the tournament is named after late Eagles assistant coach Shawn Kuykendall, who passed away in the spring of 2014.
 
"I think our win is a great way to honor and remember Shawn, and I'm glad we're finally bringing the cup home for him," said senior defender Jordan Manley.
 
Four Eagles were named to the all-tournament team. Cherry, Robley and Hobert were all named to the team, and Ludwig was also named the tournament MVP.
Seven different Eagles hit the scoresheet in a balanced offensive effort over the two matches that saw AU hold a 32-19 edge in shots.
 
American begins its home schedule this Thursday at 3 p.m. at Reeves Field as it hosts Howard University.