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Manhattanville Earns Top Seed in Freedom Playoffs

PURCHASE, N.Y. –  The Valiant men’s soccer team has earned the top seed in the upcoming Freedom Conference Championships and will host at least one semifinal round game Thursday when it hosts Misericordia College at Field.

Manhattanville finished the regular season with a 4-0 victory over King’s (Pa.) Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., giving the team a 15-3 record. The Valiants went 6-1-0 (18 points) in Freedom Conference play to earn the top seed, followed by DeSales, which managed  a scoreless tie versus FDU-Florham on Monday to finish at 5-1-1 (16 points).

Manhattanville will host the fourth-seeded Cougars beginning at 5 p.m. with DeSales  hosting third-seeded Eastern in Center Valley, Pa. The championship game will be played on Saturday afternoon at the higher remaining seed.

For those planning on attending the match, tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for children under the age of six. The Manhattanville Athletic Department, however, will pay for any Valiant student who wishes to attend the match as long as they present a valid school ID.

The Valiants are currently ranked fifth in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, matching the program-high set earlier this season.

Misericordia (12-2-3, 4-2-1 Freedom) has gone just 3-2-3 after starting the season off 9-0-0 and receiving a national ranking in both NSCAA and polls. Manhattanville handed Misericordia its first loss of the season on October 8, as junior Eros Olazabal and senior Emil Sjoberg scored in the first half and graduate student Jason Torres of Harrison needed to make just one save in goal to pick up the 2-0 Valiant victory.

Manhattanville boasts one of the best scoring offenses in Division III, finishing the regular season ninth in total goals (58), 12th in scoring offense (3.22 goals per game) and seventh in total assists (53). All three totals led the Freedom Conference. Olazabal shattered the program’s single-season records with 26 goals and 56 points during the regular season

Torres has been the team’s primary keeper this season, leading the squad with a 13-3-0 record, a 1.02 goals against average and a .704 save percentage. The winningest goaltender in program history with 37 victories, Torres also is first all-time at the school with a 1.04 goals against average for his career.

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