Men’s soccer wins conference championship, first since 2002
The men’s soccer team overcame youth, inexperience and injuries to several key players to capture the 2012 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship on its home field Nov. 3.
Forward Jake Weinshank ’15 scored two first-half goals, with assists from Bobby Ernst ’13 and Patrick Vierengel ’13, to lift Salve Regina over visiting Nichols College 2-0 in the title game. Both teams had advanced to the championship game with 2-1 semifinal victories.
With the win, Salve Regina raised its program-record win total to 16 and earned an automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III men’s soccer championships.
The Seahawks were making their eighth appearance in the CCC finals and first since 2006. This year’s championship marks the third in the history of the program (1998, 2002, 2012) and first under head coach Craig O’Rourke II.
“This was a very special year for us,” O’Rourke said. “We recognized early that we were going to be very, very young. The conference preseason poll picked us sixth; 21 out of 27 roster spots occupied by freshmen and sophomores.
“We sat down in preseason with our captains and said that this year will be dictated by the type of leadership we have, not just from the coaches but the senior class and in particular these captains,” O’Rourke continued. “I’ve never had a group respond to that demand the way that this senior class did, leading by word and action.”