By Darren Myers
On the Penn State New Kensington campus, not many sports teams show their dominance much like the men’s soccer team. Captained by sophomores Casey Cavanaugh and Michael Killian, the men’s team finished with a record of 6-6, just enough to squeeze into that all important final playoff spot.
Throughout the season, Cavanaugh and Killian paved the way for the team’s success. Killian led the team in goals with 16, and Cavanaugh led the team in assists with 9. New Kensington finished with a conference record of 5-6, and a non-conference record of 1-0. The team only played one of their non-conference games due to schedule difficulties of students, but made the most out it by winning.
The New Kensington Nittany Lions faced off against Penn State Brandywine’s Nittany Lions in a winner-moves-on matchup. The matchup on paper was not in favor of New Kensington. Brandywine was the first seed in playoffs and New Kensington was the sixth and lowest seed, so the matchup already looked one-sided.
Unfortunately, the game against Brandywine turned out to be just as one-sided as it was on paper. The final score was 8-0; New Kensington failed to get on the board. It was a difficult loss after a season that showed such promise, but according to Cavanaugh “Brandywine was the worst team in our conference last year, and now they’re the best.” With branch campuses, kids move from school to school so one may never know who will end up where and what school will have a pool of talented freshman coming in.
When asked how he felt about his team this year, Cavanaugh said “We had, obviously, goals to do a little bit better than just the sixth seed in playoffs but every year, with this conference, you walk into it and you don’t know what teams (are going to win).”
When asked about the playoffs specifically, Cavanaugh said that “Since the program started in New Ken, we’ve made the playoffs every year, so, five years running.” New Kensington had a reputation to uphold, and they did just that. Hopefully the Penn State New Kensington Nittany Lions keep the tradition of making the playoffs for years to come.