October 19, 2012

Game Of The Week: Men's Soccer Vs. Western Connecticut State

UMass Boston men's soccer (3-9-2, 0-5 Little East) will look to send their seven seniors out with a bang Saturday afternoon when the Beacons host Western Connecticut State University (3-9-2, 2-3 LEC) at the Clark Athletic Field.

The Beacons seven seniors will be playing their final contest in front of the home fans, while looking to earn their first conference win of the year.

"It's been a lot of fun over the four years. We've had our ups and downs, and unfortunately this year we haven't been able to put things together," senior captain Brycen Dowd (Mansfield, Mass.) said. "Hopefully we can come out with a big win tomorrow. No matter what it will be fun and I really enjoyed playing with these guys."

This senior class led the Beacons to their first postseason tournament appearance since 2006 last season. UMass Boston earned a spot in the ECAC New England Tournament thanks to an 11-6 record-the fourth best winning percentage in program record.

"You know [this season] has been a disappointment, but a win is always fun-especially on Senior Day, our last home game and it would be great to get a win for all of us," said Dowd.

To break their four-game losing streak and get a victory, the Beacons will need production up front from an offense that is averaging 1.6 goals per game. Seniors Reyn Johnson (Mangilao, Guam) and Victor Hugo Costa (Brasilia, Brazil) are tied for the team lead with three goals apiece, while fellow senior Brian Sanz (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) is tied for second on the team with seven points.

In last year's 4-0 win over the Colonials, Johnson and Sanz each scored, while Victor Hugo Costa picked up an assist. Sanz has two career goals against Western Connecticut in his three years, as the Beacons have won two of the past three over their Little East Conference foe. 

Western Connecticut has struggled mightily to score goals this season with just five goals in 14 games. The Colonials have averaged less than nine shots per game and have been shutout in 10 contests on the year. 

Dowd and his fellow seniors hope that the Colonials struggles on offense will be enough to overcome their own struggles to finish. No matter the result tomorrow, Dowd knows that this team has changed him and the other six seniors.

"The soccer team has been a huge part of my life and college would have been a whole lot different if I didn't have these guys coming into college," Dowd said. "To instantly have 20 friends, on a commuter campus where it's tough to make friends sometimes, these guys have pretty much been a family around here-it's a great feeling."

The Beacons will honor Luis Saquich (Marlborough, Mass) Dan Purchia (Winchester, Mass.), Hamza Abdul (Chelsea, Mass.), Dowd, Costa, Johnson and Sanz before the 1 p.m. kickoff. 

UMass Boston will finish off their season with road contests at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (October 23 at 7 p.m.) and at Plymouth State (October 27 at 1 p.m.).