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College soccer

NCAA Div. III men

Bassett, Ackley tallies give Messiah its first national crown 2-0 over host Rowan.

GLASSBORO, N.J. (Saturday, November 25, 2000) -- Mark Bassett and Mark Ackley found net in the first half and Messiah College of Grantham, Pa., made its first visit to the NCAA Division III championship game a successful one 2-0 over host Rowan.

Messiah (22-2-1) was making its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance and 12th overall, previously reaching the national semifinals twice, most recently in 1988, Rowan won titles in 1981 and 1991, and was runnerup in 1979.

The loss snapped the Profs' 17-game win, leaving Rowan 24-2 after its first home setback.

Troy Sauer drilled an indirect kick into the penalty area to fellow midfielder Bassett who connected into the lower left corner for his third goal, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 12:54.

"I got to the ball before the keeper," Bassett said. "It was my job to get their first."

Forward Greg Giordano stripped a Rowan defender and carried into the box before crossing to Ackley who nailed the lower left corner for a 2-0 advantage at 27:14.

"We played with discipline and of course the early goal was the key," Messiah coach Dave Brandt said. "History has shown it is hard to win on (someone’s) home field and that makes this even sweeter."

Rowan held a 17-12 shots advantage, but was thwarted by junior goalkeeper Chris Boyles who made nine saves for his eighth shutout.

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