By Vince Carango

The 2011 Madonna University men’s soccer team won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title and was able to earn its way back to a grand stage, where they last stepped foot in 2008, the NAIA men’s soccer national championship tournament.

The Crusaders won the conference title in dramatic fashion, winning bouts in the WHAC semifinals and finals games with a 1-0 tally in both games.

In the semifinal, the game was scoreless until the 67th minute when junior Joe Carver (Royston, England /Meridian School) scored the go-ahead goal to put Madonna up 1-0 against conference rivals and No. 1 seed Cornerstone University.  The upset was made complete with goalie Adrian Motta’s stellar performance of eight saves, including a penalty kick in the 72nd minute.

In the WHAC conference championship against Aquinas University, the game was tied at 0-0 after regulation.  It wasn’t until the second overtime that sophomore striker Brandon Hess (Livonia/Detroit Catholic Central) scored the game-winning goal to give MU the conference title and a bid to the national tournament.

Although the Crusaders fell in the first match at nationals to No. 5 seed Rio Grande, men’s soccer head coach Eric Scott expressed his pride in his team.

“It is a real privilege to coach these guys. They have done a tremendous job and they deserve all the credit, ” Scott said.

The teams’ most crucial player was junior goalkeeper Adrian Motta.  His stellar play included eight saves in the conference finals and 10 saves in their national tournament appearance.

The 2011 men’s soccer team saw its hard work and determination pay off during this season.  With the fire now lit underneath that team, fans can look for them to improve on this season’s accomplishments when the next campaign kicks off in summer 2012.



Men’s soccer earns conference title