|4/26/2011 12:07:00 PM|
Sin-free play bumps NAC to quarterfinals of priestly soccer series
Catholic News Service photo
Pontifical North American College seminarian Nick Nelson of the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., plays in his team's season opener against the Pontifical College of Brazil. The U.S. team enters the quarterfinals of the seminarian tourney, set for May 14.
Catholic News ServiceVATICAN CITY — "Angelic" play helped advance the Pontifical North American College soccer team to the quarterfinals of the Clericus Cup.
A three-way tie for the lead in the division was broken by adding the total of yellow, red and "sin bin" blue cards each team accumulated over the past three matches.
The 16-team tournament exclusively for priests and seminarians in Rome uses the yellow card for a foul or unsportsmanlike conduct; the red card, which results in expulsion from the game; and the soccer series' unique blue card, which is a five-minute expulsion for players who get carried away and need time to cool down.
Zero disciplinary actions against the North American College gave it the nickname "Little Angels" and bumped the squad to the top of its division.
The Brazilian College had three yellow cards, and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas of Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum, had two yellow cards.
Brazil did not make the cut because of its penalty points, while the Angelicum will advance to the quarterfinals with the NAC and six other teams.
This year's Clericus Cup season is significantly shorter than in the past, with only three games played before the quarterfinals May 14.
The NAC won its first game of the tourney's fifth season against the Brazilian College in shootout. It lost its second match, against the Angelicum, in a shootout, then trounced the team from the Benedictines' Pontifical University of St. Anselm, 4-0, April 9. Father Daniel O'Mullane of Paterson, N.J., scored three of the four goals.
The British-born priest has scored four goals this season, putting him in a first-place tie with a player from the Legionaries of Christ's Mater Ecclesiae for most goals scored.