PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Sophomore Raffi DeSouza's (Watertown, Mass.) goal six minutes into overtime lifted UMass Boston men's soccer to a huge Little East Conference goal over rival Rhode Island College Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
UMass Boston 2, Rhode Island College 1 (OT)
(UMass Boston 5-2-2, Little East 2-1)
(Rhode Island College 4-4-1, Little East 2-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
DeSouza headed home an Eric Murakami (Woburn, Mass.) corner kick at 95:51 to give the Beacons their third 2-1 win over the Anchormen in the past four meetings.
On the final play of the game, Murakami took a corner kick and sent a left-footed inswinger into the middle of the six-yard box. With the ball flying past him, DeSouza swung his leg towards the ball and knocked it right at the goalie. The ball bounced back at DeSouza off the goalie's hands and he then headed it across the goal line towards the far post. A Rhode Island College player tried to clear the ball back across the line, but after several moments of hesitation the referee and linesman confirmed the goal.
Fellow sophomore Jake Davenport (Weymouth, Mass.) accounted for the other Beacons' tally, as UMass Boston earned their sixth-straight win over the Anchormen.
Sophomore goalie Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) made five saves on six shots to improve to 4-1-2 on the year.
Senior forward Komla Dogbey scored the lone goal of the day for the Anchormen with sophomore Kevin Tay Munoz earning the assist.
Freshman keeper Charlie Tashjian allowed two goals on eight shots to fall to 4-3-1 on the year.
Saturday's contest was a sloppy affair, with both teams struggling to build any kind of momentum due to heavy rain and slippery field conditions. The teams played a cat-and-mouse game early, with UMass Boston trying to beat the Anchormen's high defensive line with balls over the top.
In the end, it was a pass that never went higher than a few feet off the grass that led to the Beacons first goal. It all started at UMass Boston's own 18-yard box, as Cunha stepped up and broke up an Anchormen chance with a header. The ball bounced towards midfield where Morales collected it and sent a low through ball from inside his own half. Davenport raced past three defenders before corralling the ball at the top of the 18 and then sending a right-footed shot just inside the far post to make it 1-0 at 19:04.
Rhode Island College evened the score just 5:15 into the second half. After a Beacons' foul 30-yards from their own goal, Tay Munoz sent a soft free kick to the top of the 18. Dogbey's initial volley was blocked by the defense, but the rebound bounced back at him and he rifled a low shot past Castro-Dreher to tie the score.
Neither side could find the game-winner in regulation, which led to DeSouza's overtime heroics.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston and Rhode Island College played in each of the past two Little East Conference Championship Games, with the Beacons winning both by 2-1 scores.
- Rhode Island College earned a 15-14 edge in total shots, but UMass Boston claimed an 8-6 lead in shots on goal. The Beacons also claimed a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
- The Beacons have now won six in a row over the Anchormen with four of the six contests ending in one-goal wins.
- DeSouza's goal was his first collegiate tally in his 25th career game as a Beacon.
UMass Boston will travel to take on Salem State University on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.