The Palm Beach Atlantic men's soccer team captured their first Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon, defeating Barry 1-0 on a goal from Marc Hebbeker in the 66th minute.
The Sailfish (19-1) had two great chances in the first half but couldn't get past Marco Sordi. Early on it was Claudio Rivadeneira who struck a deflected ball on a volley that hit the crossbar. Midway through the half, it was Hebbeker who missed just wide of the target after a cross off the right side had him one on one with Sordi.
In the second half, it was Hebbeker that finally found the breakthrough. Juan Pablo Puelma was able to take the ball away from a Barry (13-4-1) player on the right wing before dribbling past a defender and lofting a ball into the box. Hebbeker made a run to the near post and headed the ball just inside of Sordi to the near post on what proved to be the championship-winning goal.
After that goal, the Sailfish defense shut down the Bucs, not allowing another shot on goal and only one shot at all. The 'Fish still managed to take four more shots and had their best chance with Hebbeker one-on-one with Sordi again but the all-SSC keeper was able to take it off Hebbeker’s foot to prevent an attempt at another goal.
The Sailfish finished the match with 11 shots to Barry's eight. Elliott Barker made two saves, one in each half, while Sordi was credited with two as well.
PBA won for the fifth time with the score 1-0 and completed their 11th shutout of the year in the process.
The Sailfish are the first team to win both the regular season and tournament titles in the SSC since 2014, and just the seventh in league history to complete the sweep.
PBA will find out their NCAA South Region Tournament fate on Monday during the NCAA Selection Show that begins at 6 p.m. on ncaa.com/watch. The 'Fish are expected to be the top seed in the four-team south regional after being ranked atop the region in each of the three published rankings.