Cody Norman, Broadside Correspondent

Junior forward Ernesto Marquez led the way for the men’s soccer team as the Patriots defeated the Drexel Dragons 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Vidas Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Marquez gave the Patriots an immediate lead, scoring only two minutes into the game. After a foul by Drexel permitted a penalty kick from just outside the right corner of the goalie box, Marquez bent the ball inside the near post past Drexel goalkeeper Tres Heffron to give Mason a 1-0 lead.

After the Dragons tied the score in the 17th minute when Taylor Brophy recorded the first goal of his short career, junior forward Victor Freeman took Drexel defender Jon Volpatti one-on-one and scored to begin the second half.

Freeman’s goal was his team-leading seventh of the season and gave the Patriots the lead for good.

Mason added an insurance goal in the final 40 seconds when Freeman led a two-on-one breakaway into the goalie box before passing off to Marquez for his second goal of the afternoon to make the score 3-1.

The win bumped the Patriots into a three-way tie for third place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings with a 10-5-1 overall record and a 5-3-1 mark in CAA contests.

The top four teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the CAA Championship Tournament scheduled to begin on Friday, Nov. 13.

The Patriots will play in their final CAA match of the 2009 season on Saturday, Nov. 7 against the Old Dominion Monarchs at George Mason Stadium.

Old Dominion Monarchs:
The Monarchs come into their final match of the season with a 9-4-2 overall record and a 4-3-2 record in CAA matches. Goalkeeper Evan Newton has recorded a CAA-leading seven shutouts while only allowing 13 goals and posting a .768 save percentage in the 2009 season. Teammates Shane Howard and Yannick Smith, both top 10 in assists in the CAA, come into the match with 11 combined assists.

The Monarchs will be coming off of a 2-1 overtime win against conference opponent VCU Rams.

George Mason Patriots:
After being picked in the coaches’ poll to repeat as CAA champions, the Patriots have posted two impressive victories over Drexel and Georgia State to leave themselves an opportunity to reach conference tournament. Junior forward Victor Freeman comes into the match with a team-high seven goals and four assists. Senior goalkeeper Sean Kelley has recorded a CAA-leading 69 saves while posting five shutouts on the year.