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FOR M-SOCCER, ONE MORE HURDLE

Warriors one win away from second Little East playoff title in three years

By Matt Fontaine, Sports Information staff

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Boretti (top),and Fantl

boretti_jacket72dpi_3710.jpgThe men's soccer team will try to capture its second Little East Conference championship in three years when it hosts the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at noon at the Mansfield Outdoor Athletic Complex.

 

fantl_jacket0972dpi_3713.jpgSeeded second in the playoffs, Eastern (15-4-1, 6-1-0 little east regular season) was able to defeat defending conference champion Rhode Island College Wednesday, 2-0. Fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth (10-6-2, 3-3-1 little east regular season) upset top-seeded and regular-season champion Keene State College in overtime Wednesday, 2-1, to set up the championship match.

Eastern traveled to UMass Dartmouth two weeks ago and defeated the Corsairs, 3-0. Senior co-captains Nicholas Boretti (Marshfield, MA) and Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) both picked up a goal and an assist in the contest. Sophomore keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) made four saves in the game and recorded his third complete-match shutout of the season and 10th of his career.

The Warriors and Corsairs will be playing against each other for only the second time ever in the post-season. In a first-round match being played at UMass Dartmouth in 2001, the Corsairs scored a goal with only seven seconds left to defeat Eastern 1-0.


Both teams will be playing in only their second LEC championship game ever. In 2007,  the Warriors won their first championship when they defeated Keene State College  in penalty kicks at Thomas Nevers Field following 110 scoreless minutes (current assistant coach Jay Barney was the team's goalie in that match, stopping two PKs). The Corsairs lost, 1-0,  in three overtimes to Plymouth State in 2000 in their one and only trip to the LEC championship game.

Eastern comes into the championship game riding a season-high seven game winning streak. The Warriors are unbeaten (5-0-1)  in their last six matches against  UMass Dartmouth and have an all-time record of 26-10-6 against the Corsairs.

The winner of the LEC championship game receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which is scheduled to start Thursday.

The Eastern-UMass Dartmouth game can be heard live on WECS beginning at 11:55 a.m. The link can be found on the Eastern men's soccer home page. The match will also be aired on tape delay at www.littleeast.tv.