MILWAUKEE – Freshman Rade Novakovich scored the game's lone goal and freshman Ron Marchionna made eight saves in goal to propel the MSOE men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Aurora Saturday afternoon at Viets Field.
The Raiders (13-3, 9-1 NACC) knocked off the second-place Spartans (8-8-1, 7-2-1 NACC) to clinch the conference's regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the NACC Tournament. It's their first title since 2014, when they shared the crown with Dominican, and their first outright conference title since 1986.
Novakovich's game-winner came in the 26th minute off a long free kick into the box. MSOE was playing with the wind in the opening half and sophomore Alex Vujovic capitalized with his set piece from well past the midfield stripe drifting into the penalty area. Novakovich sent a header on target from point-blank range. The Aurora keeper made the initial save but Novakovich got a reflexive shot with the rebound and deposited in the back of the net.
The Raiders had several other scoring chances but could not extend their advantage. Meanwhile, they knocked back any advances from the visitors. Marchionna was up to the task in goal, tying a season high with eight saves and posting his first collegiate shutout.
Both teams finished with 12 shots in the match, with AU getting a slight 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
MSOE will be the No. 1 seed in the NACC Tournament for the first time. With the seed comes a bye into the semifinals. The Raiders will take on the lowest-remaining seed in a home semifinal match Oct. 31 at Viets Field.
The Red & White closes out the regular season Wednesday at Lakeland.