The Pioneers defeated the Mercy College Mavericks in the semi-finals, and the Dowling College Golden Lions in the finals to become the East Coast Conference Champions for the second year in a row.
LIU Post hosted Mercy College on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in the ECC semi-finals. The Mavericks were quick to start the game off, scoring just five minutes into the first period. The Pioneers leading scorer, junior forward Eivind Austboe, scored a goal for the home team less than 10 minutes later off an assist by sophomore midfielder Per Forgaard and senior midfielder Jonathon Watkin. For the remainder of the game, fans from both schools were on the edge of their seats. Last time the Pioneers and the Mavericks met, double overtime came and went, ending in a draw. With just 2.8 seconds left in regulation, Watkin successfully took a shot off a rebound by Austboe, winning the game, and sending the Pioneers to the ECC finals.
On Friday, Nov. 8, the Pioneers welcomed the Golden Lions to Brookville, N.Y. in the final battle for the 2013 ECC Championship. The game was scoreless through the first period and most of the second. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Austboe headed in the first goal of the game off an assist by senior back Eirik Bjoernoe. Dowling fought hard
to tie the score but less than 10 minutes later, freshman forward Johann Kristjansson scored another Pioneer goal off an assist by senior forward Cemil Turan. Dowling kept fighting to catch up, but their efforts fell short. In the last minutes of the game, Austboe scored again off another Bjoernoe assist. The Pioneers defeated Dowling 3-0, and for the second year in a row they can call themselves the East Coast Conference Champions.
Next up for the Pioneers is the NCAA Division II Championship. The men’s soccer team will host the first round of the national tournament, and as they claimed the number one seed in the east region they will have a bye in the first round. On Thursday, Nov. 14 Dowling College and NYIT face off at Robert Blitz field here at the campus of LIU Post for the right to play the Pioneers on Saturday, Nov. 16. Both games are slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff.