The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's soccer team fell to an 8-1 defeat at LIU Post in the semi-finals of the East Coast Conference Tournament. The Spartans, who came in as the tourney's number four seed, wrapped up the season with an 8-5-5 record, while top-seeded Post advanced to Saturday's final in improving to 16-0-1. Ranked #2 in the nation, the Pioneers will host Molloy for the conference title after a penalty kick victory over NYIT.
Less than two weeks ago, on October 23, the Spartans held the powerful Post team scoreless for nearly 100 minutes before dropping a 1-0 overtime decision at home. This time, the Pioneers struck early, with Jason Lampkin converting just 3:50 into the contest. Three more goals over a span of just over four minutes was enough to seal STAC's fate.
Mike Sutton scored at 13:52, and Charlie Ledula struck twice - at 16:58 and 18:08 - to give the hosts a commanding 4-0 edge. Gianluca Santacruz converted at 35:57 to make the cushion 5-0 at halftime.
Santacruz added his second of the afternoon just 1:48 after the break before Christian Jones got the Spartans on the board, converting Brad Neal's assist at 51:32. Late LIU Post goals by Sean Collins and Alex Ostby closed out the scoring. The Spartans were outshot for the game by a 22-9 margin.
Despite the tough finish, the season was a positive one for St. Thomas Aquinas, as the Spartans qualified for the ECC Tournament for the first time since 2010, and made their first postseason appearnce since the 2011 season.