Second Half Comeback Falls Just Short for Men's Soccer
BOSTON, Mass. – Despite playing with 10 men for almost 85 minutes, men's soccer nearly took down conference leader UMass Dartmouth, as the Beacons fired off three goals in the second half to lead the contest. Unfortunately it was the visiting Corsairs who would have the final say as they netted a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes to earn the 4-3 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Field.
Securing the conference win for the Corsairs was John Macaroco on a Jordan Sindo assist. Sindo crossed the ball into the Beacons goal box, where Macaroco headed it home at the 75 minute mark. With the victory UMD improved to 8-3, 4-0 in the conference and with the 1-1 tie between Eastern Connecticut State University and Keene State College, the Corsairs moved into sole possession of first place in the LEC. UMass Boston fell to 3-7-2, 0-4 in the conference after Saturday's tough loss.
Saturday's contest got off to a very difficult start for both squads. Just five minutes in UMass Boston's Victor Hugo Costa (Brasilia, Brazil) went for a 50-50 ball in the Corsairs goal box where he collided with goalkeeper Jon Doucette. The then starting goalkeeper for UMD would have to leave the field do to that collision and Costa would also leave the game on a changed yellow to red card by the official.
After a very quiet 30 minutes, Saturday's conference match resumed and quickly picked-up intensity. The two teams rattled off a combined 13 shots in the first 45 minutes of play, but neither team was able to break goal line.
It was not until after the break that things really started to heat-up at the Clark Athletic Field. Just one minute and 19 seconds into the second half, the Corsairs broke the scoreless draw on a goal from Anthony Dos Santos, his first of the season. Santos placed a Jacinto Centeio corner kick to the near post to make 1-0.
UMass Boston finally ended their scoring draught in a huge way, with help from a player who throughout his entire career has prevented goals rather than scoring them. That game-changing player was senior Brycen Dowd (Mansfield, Mass.). Still wearing the cast that took him out of the goal, Dowd was a freight train on the field going through the Corsairs defense at will.
His first of two scores came in the 63rd minute when Dowd took a combined three shots all of which bounced off of a UMD player before it landing in the back of the net. Just minutes later, UMD retook control of the scoreboard when Victor Ferreira was able to collect a loose ball in the Beacons goal box and place it home to make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
However just moments later, Dowd struck again, this time with a little help from Brian Sanz (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). The two seniors connected on a free kick, with Dowd heading the then game-tying goal for the Beacons. UMass would then take their first lead of the afternoon as Alejandro Lazalde (Monterrey, Mexico) put on a great display of ball control, by dribbling through two Corsair defensemen before crushing a shot to the upper near post. The three Beacons goals coupled with the one UMass Dartmouth goal were scored within a six minute window.
Even with the late rally, the Beacons could not overcome the one-man difference, which Dartmouth used to get their final two goals. UMD's third goal came from Sindo off of a Alief Soloman cross. Now tied at 3-3, it took just three minutes before the Corsairs regained control of the scoreboard and eventually earned the win.
In goal, sophomore Bryce Menard (Randolph, Mass.) was solid all afternoon for the Beacons coming-up with one great save after another. On the day, the Randolph native totaled four stops, with one save also going to Menard's defense, which cleared the ball out just as it was getting ready to cross the goal line. Mike Phelan, who replaced the injured Doucette, totaled five saves to earn his eighth win of the year. Doucette tallied one-stop before the collision in the opening minutes.
UMass Dartmouth held a 20-13 advantage in shots, with both teams recorded nine shots on goal. The two teams were even in corner kicks as well with three each.
Men's Soccer returns to action on Wednesday when they travel to Emerson College for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.