BOSTON, Mass.—Behind their best offensive display of the season, #1 UMass Boston men's soccer routed fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University 7-2, to earn their third-straight trip to the Little East Conference Championship Game.
#1 UMass Boston 7, #4 Eastern Connecticut State University 2
(UMass Boston 16-1-2)
(Eastern Connecticut State University 6-10-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Ocane Williamson (Spanish Town, Jamaica) posted a brace in both halves for a career-high nine points, as the Beacons avenged their lone loss of the season. The freshman scored the Beacons' first, third, fifth and sixth goals, and had an assist on the seventh, in his most dominant outing to date.
With the win, the Beacons advance to host Saturday's Little East Conference Championship Game against second-seeded Rhode Island College. The two teams met in last year's LEC Title Game, with UMass Boston earning a 2-1 overtime win in Boston. Today's victory tied the Beacons' with last year's team for the most wins in program history with 16.
In net, freshman Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) picked up his program-record 12th win in a single-season. After only being forced to make several clearances in the first half, he finished with two saves on four shots on goal.
Warriors' senior Emmanuel Caicedo registered both goals for Eastern Connecticut State University, who fell in the LEC Semifinals for a third-straight year. The senior center back moved into first place on the Warriors with five goals on the season.
Sophomore goalie Ryan Murphy was constantly under duress for the visitors, as he was charged with seven goals on 15 total shots.
The Beacons came out on fire, after suffering a 2-1 loss against the Warriors less than three weeks ago in Connecticut.
Williamson gave the Beacons a 1-0 advantage at 10:16, when Murphy parried away a Mohamed Kenawy (Revere, Mass.) shot, only to have Williamson race after the rebound and slide it across the goalmouth and in off the near post.
Morales doubled the Beacons lead at 18:47. With the defense giving him a ton of space, the junior forward ripped a right-footed shot from 35-yards out that skipped past a diving Murphy.
Williamson basically put the game out of reach in the 31st minute, when Morales' cross found a wide-open Williamson-who's half-volley nearly ripped through the netting from six-yards out. Junior Joshua Khang (Brockton, Mass.) picked up the first of his two assists on the play.
Just before the half UMass Boston pushed their lead to 4-0, when Khang hooked up for a give-and-go with Davenport, who squeezed a shot just past Murphy.
Williamson put his stamp all over the game in the opening 11 minutes of the second half. A long pass from Miguel Alcantar (Tijuana, Mexico) found Williamson in behind the defense, and he completed the hat trick with a right-footed effort at 50:55. Less than five minutes later, Williamson did it all himself, as he bulldozed his way through the defense and scored for a 6-0 lead.
Eastern Connecticut State finally got on the board at 56:36, when Nick Starkowski's long throw in found the head of Caicedo inside the six-yard box.
UMass Boston wouldn't be deterred though, as Williamson made one final impressive play. The freshman collected the ball inside the 18-yard box with a bevy of Warriors players closing in on him. He spun around and sent a shot through Murphy's hands that Smick poked home as a defender tried to clear it away.
The Warriors closed out the scoring at 85:03, when senior Alejandro Tobon found Caicedo off a corner kick and Caicedo ripped a shot just inside the far post for his second of the night.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Warriors 25-9 and earned a 15-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Beacons also held a 7-5 edge in corner kicks.
- With his four goals, Williamson took over the Beacons' team lead in goals with 17 and moved into a two-way tie for the conference lead with Keene State's Promise Kpee. He stands second in program history for goals scored in a single-season.
- The Beacons snapped a two-game losing streak against the Warriors and improved to 7-23-1 all-time against Eastern Connecticut State University. The Beacons seven goals rank as their most all-time against the Warriors and in a playoff game.
- UMass Boston set a new conference record for goals scored in an LEC Tournament game with seven. Plymouth State University earned a 6-0 win over Western Connecticut State University in 2008.
Top-seeded UMass Boston will look to become the second team in LEC history to win three consecutive LEC Tournament Titles. The Beacons will host second-seeded Rhode Island College in Saturday's LEC Championship Game at 7 p.m.