ALBANY, N.Y. — Meeting for the sixth time in the last seven championship games, regular season champion and top-seeded Berkeley College, led by tournament MVP Hasan Sezer's two goals, defeated No. 2 seed Albany College of Pharmacy, 4-1, in the 2015 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday afternoon at ACPHS Athletics Field.
The victory gives Berkeley College (14-5, 7-0 HVIAC), ranked No. 6 in the latest USCAA Coaches' Poll, the league's inaugural automatic bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Soccer Championship, to be held from November 4-7 in Asheville, North Carolina. Albany Pharmacy (11-5, 6-1 HVIAC), ranked No. 5 in the latest poll, will wait to see if they receive an at large bid when the championship field is released on Tuesday.
Albany Pharmacy earned a spot in their eighth straight title game defeating No. 3 seed SUNY-ESF (6-7-1, 5-2 HVIAC) in the first semifinal on Saturday. The Mighty Oaks got on the board first on an Owen Hennigan volley, but the Panthers struck back with five unanswered goals including three over a span of 11 minutes, with two coming off the foot of Kyle Jenkins, to secure the 5-3 victory.
Berkeley had to hold off a gritty No. 4 Vaughn (2-8-2, 2-3-2, HVIAC) team in the second semifinal to punch a ticket to their sixth title game. Sezer scored in the 15th and 43rd minutes to give the Knights a 2-0 halftime lead before the Ahkeem Bailey cut the deficit in half scoring early in the second half. Ahmed Aly made 12 saves for the Warriors as Berkeley maintained a 27-10 shot advantage, but Vaughn was unable to find the equalizer, and Berkeley advanced 2-1.
In the championship, Sezer got Berkeley on the board first again in the 15th minute punching in a sideways kick that was headed over to him by Ali Dahwa and the Knights would take another 2-0 lead into the lockers. Jack Hanlon put the Panthers on the board early with a goal 11 minutes into the second half, but Sezer would combine with Dahwa again in the 73rd minute and Dahwa would tack on an insurance goal four minutes later for the final 4-1 margin.
Berkeley held a 26-12 shot edge and a 10-2 edge in corner kicks. Sezer led the offense with 11 shots, seven coming on goal. Matt Houlihan made 10 saves in a losing effort for the Panthers and Masahiro Kiuchi stopped two shots in earning the win for the Knights.
Berkeley and Albany Pharmacy are now tied 3-3 in HVIAC tournament championship game appearances.
Full information on the USCAA National Soccer Championships can be viewed at http://soccer.theuscaa.com
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2015 HVIAC Men's Soccer Championships
Semifinals - Saturday, October 24
Championship - Sunday, October 25
#1 Berkeley def. #2 Albany Pharmacy, 4-1 | Box
Hasan Sezer | Berkeley College | Forward
Tournament and Regular Season Champions
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences