TAMPA, Fla. - Just for kicks, Fort Lewis College spotted the sixth-ranked team in the country a 1-0 advantage.
Then the top-ranked side did its thing: scored goals more proficiently than its opposition, as it has done all season
long - eight, to be precise, which runs FLC's NCAA-best total to 107 goals in 24 games.
No. 1 FLC outclassed No. 6 Le Moyne with a second-half frenzy that gave the Skyhawks a convincing 8-2 semifinal
victory in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships on Thursday at University of Tampa Pepin Stadium.
Angelo Reina scored 16 minutes into the national semifinal to give Le Moyne an early lead.
Euan Purcell tied the game at 1.
Then it was David Barden for a 2-1 lead at the half.
Then it was Barden again just 79 seconds into the second half.
We've got one more game to win," first-year head coach Oige Kennedy said.
Fort Lewis College will play No. 9 Lees-McRae for its second national championship in half a decade at 2 p.m.
Saturday in Tampa.
We started very tentatively," Kennedy said. The first 15 minutes, we really didn't play our game."
The final 45, that's a different story.
After an overcast first half of soccer on the downtown Tampa campus, FLC's fortitude burned brightly with the waking
sun in the second half.
Barden scored quickly; Purcell followed suit.
Once we scored that third goal, we knew we were going to score a few more," said Settle, whose parents from
Ports-mouth, England, were a couple of nearly 100 FLC fans in attendance to watch the nation's leader in assists set
up three more and record five points in the six-goal win.
I don't think it's a surprise that we scored that many goals," he said.
Ten shots, eight goals, can't complain about that," said Barden, whose family also made the trip from South Haven, Mich. That was like practice."
Barden and Settle, two seniors from the Skyhawks' 2006 national runner-up squad, one year after the FLC men's program
won the title, combined for 12 points in the win.
We have regrets from freshman year," Barden said. Looking back, we have regrets. We've got a second chance,"
he said, as he then looked to Settle and teammate Zane Wells, also a member of the '06 team.
We've got a second chance now, and we're ready."