On Saturday September 28th, Mount St. Mary's hosted the 4th Annual Vianney Cup, the East Coast's seminary soccer tournament. The Vianney Cup, formed after the dissolution of the long lived Rector's Cup in 2009, includes soccer teams fielded by St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia; St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore; and Theological College in Washington, DC. This year marked the first time the tournament was hosted by the Mount since 2010, and at the end of the day, the Mount once again hoisted the trophy for the ninth consecutive year.
Going into the day's contests, the rival seminaries were eager to take the trophy from the historically dominant club fielded by the Mount, but our team was up for the task, edging out Theological College by a score of 3-2 in the day's opening bout. After taking a 3-0 lead with one goal from Michael Pica (S'16, Peoria) and two from Nicholas Blank (S'19, Arlington), Theological College showed their fight, netting two second half goals to come within one before the Mount closed the door on the visitors from Washington.
In the championship match, the Mount once again faced their archrival from Philadelphia, St. Charles; and once more, the hosts from Emmitsburg emerged victorious, notching a 3-0 shutout to claim the title. The championship game was played at the university's Waldron Family Stadium where Noah Morey (S'15, Arlington) began the scoring with the first two goals before Deacon Chase Hilgenbrinck (S'14, Peoria) put the ball in the back of the net to complete the 3-0 victory.
The tournament was a grand affair for the entire Mount community with each seminarian offering a bit of assistance to create a welcoming and hospitable environment for the visitors. As the host school, the Mount also put together an impressive cheering section led by Carl McIntosh (S'15, Bridgeport) from the class of 3rd Theology. The seminarians in the stands included a pep band and a bag piper as well as dozens of spectators blowing vuvuzelas, the African tribal horn which gained international prominence during the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament held in South Africa.
While the Mount has dominated the tournament over the past decade, the event is not simply about competition. A large contingent of seminarians from all four schools assembled in the morning to attend Mass celebrated at Immaculate Conception Chapel by St. Charles' rector, Bishop Timothy Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. Following the day's activities on the soccer field, the entire contingent gathered again for Vespers before concluding the day's activities with a pig roast held on the north lawn of the seminary building.
With the Mount's most recent victory, the seminary will head into next year's competition seeking an unprecedented tenth consecutive championship, but for the time being the trophy will once again find its home within the halls of Mount St. Mary's.