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M-Soccer: Warriors Fall From First, 1-0

For second time in three years, UMD spoils bid for unbeaten LEC season

Box score.HTM

LEC LOGO PARE72dpi.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the second time in three years, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has spoiled Eastern Connecticut State University's bid for an unbeaten Little East Conference men's soccer season.

Saturday, junior Josh Chao delivered the decisive strike off a free kick in the 54th minute to lead UMass (10-5-0, 5-1-0 LEC) to a 1-0 victory over Eastern (9-3-4, 4-1-1) at Cressy Field that vaulted the Corsairs ahead of the Warriors into first place in the conference with one regular-season conference contest remaining.

In the final regular-season conference match in 2011, homestanding UMass pinned an identical 1-0 loss on Eastern, which was attempting to finish its conference season with a perfect 7-0 record. Until Saturday, that loss had been the last one sustained by Eastern in conference regular-season or playoff competition. The Warriors had gone 16 matches unbeaten in the conference until Saturday en route to two LEC regular-season and playoff championships.

Next Saturday, Eastern visits Plymouth State University (1-3-2 in the LEC) and UMass Dartmouth visits Western Connecticut  (1-3-2 in the LEC) in the final regular-season conference matches. Eastern has won or shared the conference regular-season title four times in the last six years. UMass is searching for its first-ever regular-season championship and has lost in the LEC playoff finals to the Warriors both last year and in 2009.

Senior Adam Philbin generated the eventual game-winning rush with a strong push down the left flank, forcing a Warrior defender to earn a caution to prevent a breakaway.  On the ensuing free kick, Chao bent his attempt around the visitors' wall and into the left corner of the net to provide the hosts with a lead they would not relinquish. It was Chao's third game-winning goal of the season and eighth overall.

Eastern created its best scoring chance in the eighth minute as senior Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) fired a shot that forced the UMass Dartmouth keeper to make a diving save towards his right to keep the match scoreless.  Senior Victor Ferreira nearly sent the Corsairs into the halftime intermission with a one-marker advantage, when he struck the right post in the 21st minute.

Eastern appeared to have tied the match in the final minutes after scoring off a throw-in, but the Warriors were ruled to be offside on the play.

The UMass Dartmouth defensive quartet of Chao, freshman Georges Tenie, sophomore Karim Fernandes and junior John Macaroco held the Warriors to eight total shots, including just four on net.  The Corsairs did not allow their visitors to attempt a shot for the first 29 minutes of the second stanza.

The top four teams in the final regular-season standings qualify for the LEC playoffs. The semifinals are scheduled for Nov. 6. Eastern, UMass Dartmouth and Keene State College are guaranteed playoff slots, with UMass Boston and Rhode Island College contending for the final spot. Those two teams meet Saturday in Providence, RI, with Rhode Island College needing a victory to make the playoffs.

The shutout was the third in the last four contests for Eastern, which was outshot 19-8 by the Corsairs in dropping to 2-2-3 away from home this fall. Eastern freshman Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) made six saves. Freshman Luis Carranza of UMass, who has split time this year with freshman Andrew Deane in goal, made four saves for his  first full career shutout, seventh this season by the team.

Men's Soccer Plays USCGA Scoreless

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Above: Eastern's six seniors were honored prior to the final regular-season home match of their careers Tuesday: From left, Carl Stensland, Mitch Power, Luke Capezzone, assistant coach Josh Tremblay, head coach Greg DeVito, Christopher Giustina, Dan Eisenmann, and Mike Radlbeck. (Photo by Liam Murphy)

In match full of opportunities, keepers come up big in overtime draw

Box score.HTM

stensland72_0058.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Eastern Connecticut State University freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) made six saves to record his seventh shutout of the season and he was helped by a defensive save midway through the second half as the Warriors played the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to a scoreless double-overtime men's soccer draw Tuesday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

At left: Senior midfielder Carl Stensland

Both teams had numerous chances to break through, combining on 37 shots and 11 corner kicks. Walton of Eastern (9-2-4) was matched by Coast Guard (6-6-3) junior Richie Burns, who made ten saves to record his sixth save.

In their final regular-season home match of the season, the Warriors outshot the Bears 6-3 in overtime but could not break through, although they were able to shut out Coast Guard for the fourth straight season and improved their home record this year to 7-1-1 with their seventh home shutout.

All three of Eastern's shots in the first overtime period were on target, two by senior Carl Stensland (Storrs) and one by senior Mitch Power (Douglas, MA). Stensland, a midfielder, had two prime opportunities when he had his foot on the ball in the middle of the box. The first midway through the first OT came on a serve from senior Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook) and the second three minutes later was a low shot through traffic on a pass from sophomore Timothy Jennison (Coventry). Power, who had cleared a ball off the line in the second quarter on a shot by junior John Tarzian off a corner from senior John Rendon, nailed a sinking liner from 20 yards with 3:30 left but Burns made a clutch stop.

With five minutes left in regulation, Walton stretched flat out to his right on a shot from the right side of the box by senior Robert Copeland and got his fingertips on the ball to knock it just wide.

Eastern's best chance to get a ball by Burns came midway through the first overtime, when freshman Mark Richards (Springfield, MA) sprung Power on the left wing. Power carried a long distance - beating Copeland to open up space - but his hard drive from 18 yards sailed over the crossbar.

Eastern closes out the regular season with Little East Conference road matches at UMass Dartmouth Saturday at 1 p.m. and at Plymouth State Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. The Warriors lead the conference with a 4-0-1 record and are in search of their third straight regular-season and playoff championships


 

M-Soccer: Warriors Deny Anchormen, 1-0

They extend conference unbeaten streak to 16 on Power's late goal

Box score.HTM

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At left: Eastern celebrates Mitch Power's go-ahead goal which came with 17 seconds left Saturday.

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) scored with 17 seconds left as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team extended its Little East Conference unbeaten streak to 16 with a 1-0 victory over Rhode Island College Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

With its fifth 1-0 home win this year, two-time defending conference champion Eastern (9-2-3, 4-0-1 LEC) remains atop the conference with 13 points, one point ahead of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The Corsairs kept pace by silencing visiting Plymouth State University, 3-0, Saturday.

Rhode Island (5-5-4, 1-2-2 LEC) is 0-4-2 in its last six matches and is 0-3-2 against Eastern in the last five meetings with the Warriors.

Power finally netted his team-leading eighth goal of the season on his eighth and final shot of the match. Power settled a long head pass from senior midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs), gained a step on Rhode Island junior back David Ricci  while carrying into the box, and unloaded a drive from the right side of the box which cleanly settled into the upper left-hand side of the goal.

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At left: Kyle Peterson

The Warriors, who returned to the winning track at home after losing their only home match this year Monday, outshot the Anchormen 14-8 and amassed a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks, but could not break through until Power recorded his second game-winning goal of the year.

Power had at least three excellent scoring chances in the final 27 minutes before knocking in the game-winning. With 27 minutes left, his 19-yard free kick from inside the circle was saved at the left post by Rhode Island freshman keeper Christopher Moura; thirteen minutes later, the 6-foot-1 inch team captain found space beyond the top of the box, but his 30-yard drive sailed high; and from close range with just over a minute left, he headed a perfect corner kick by freshman midfielder Nicholas Warren (Southbury) directly at the Rhode Island keeper.

Several of Eastern's second-half bids came off Warren's corner kicks. Sophomore forward Timothy Jennison's (Coventry) volley attempt went wide of the left post off Warren's corner with 17 minutes left and with 2:30 remaining, Jennison targeted Stensland at the right post off another corner, but Moura was there to stuff Stensland and keep the game scoreless.

Rhode Island's best opportunities came in the first half, although  freshman midfielder Anderson Monteiro and freshman back Devin Lambert hooked up on near-identical plays in the second half that nearly gave the Anchormen the lead. On both, Monteiro sent perfect free kicks to Lambert at the left post. Lambert's diving header on the first midway through the second half sailed wide left and his second with seven minutes left in the match was volleyed wide.

With four saves, Eastern freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunwick, ME) posted his sixth shutout in 14 starts, lowering his goals-against average to 0.65. In eight home starts, Walton is 7-1-0 with five shutouts, a 0.37 GAA and .889 save percentage. Moura made seven stops.

Eastern hosts the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Tuesday at 3 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

A Father & Son Soccer Reunion

dambrosios72_0014.jpgby Brent Pelella / Sports Information Staff

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Chris D'Ambrosio hasn't lost a step as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer coach since he took the helm at the start of the century. His consistent production season in and season out has been a reliable niche in the athletic program.

At left: Women's soccer coach Chris D'Ambosio (left) has been joined at Eastern this year by his oldest son, Cooper, a sophomore member of the men's soccer team.

However, things around the coach are changing.

Fourteen years into his tenure as the program's winningest head coach, it's fair to say that he has made this school part of his family, and as recently as this fall, his family is creating less of a distinction.

Nineteen-year-old Cooper D'Ambrosio, the second of Chris and Gina's two sons,  grew up on the sidelines next to his father, watching a good percentage of his 162 wins.

Now the son of the women's soccer coach is wearing Warrior colors as a member of the men's squad, "I'm excited to be at Eastern. I grew up around this school, and it feels like it was just meant to happen," says Cooper, who stepped into a starting spot in head coach Greg DeVito's starting backfield this fall.

Cooper, who recently returned to the lineup after sitting out two matches with a broken nose, began his career as a freshman at Division I University of Hartford. The experience was rigorous, but has helped him understand what it takes to be successful, "Everyone (at Division I) has an excellent skill set, and so it comes down to who works the hardest," noted the Andover native. "It would have been a challenging opportunity for me (to remain at UH), but financially and sentimentally, Eastern just made more sense."

dambrosio_profile_1057_001.jpgThe passion that Cooper expresses about the game of soccer is so strong it led this writer into a whirlwind of questioning. It was poetic to see such strong emotion for something created and developed by the nurturing of his parents.

At left: Chris D'Ambrosio

It may be taken for granted at times, but in many instances the tables are turned. In fact, Andre Agassi once talked about the result of his father's influence, "I told a lot of people that I hated tennis -- seriously and strongly hated it -- and they all tried to talk me out of it... But they didn't know my father."

Coach D'Ambrosio knows how influential a father can be, and he's done his best to let his eldest son write his own path, "Cooper is his own person, and he's very confident in his own skin. I'm happy he's found a place, in Eastern, that makes him comfortable."

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Despite his free spirit, Cooper exemplifies the same competitiveness and devotion that his father had as a soccer player at St. Thomas in Miami in the mid-1980s. The father and son mirror each other off the pitch with loquacious personalities that radiate with every word.

It's evident that the family tradition of sports passion has carried from the former UConn gymnast mother and the star soccer goalkeeper father to the next generation of  D'Ambrosios:  Cooper and younger brother Carson, a senior at RHAM High School in Hebron whose list of potential college programs includes Eastern.

At right: Cooper D'Ambrosio

While Cooper is passionate about the game of soccer, his future aspirations revolve not around the pitch, but around the broadcast booth.
"I look forward to continuing my degree in communications, and working toward being a broadcaster, said Cooper, who looks to get his feet wet this winter and spring as a member of the Eastern student broadcasting team."When I was younger I loved (broadcasting) so much I used to mute the TV and announce sporting events myself."

The long-time women's soccer coach has raised his son to be an independent, self-sufficient young man. Cooper's dreams aren't parallel to his father's, but it's easy to draw the palpable comparisons. Of course, those who know Chris D'Ambrosio would just chalk it up to another soccer player who's been positively affected by the truly genuine, compassionate coach.


 

Men's Soccer: Home Streak is History

Warriors can't get untracked in 2-0 non-conference loss to Babson

Box score.HTM

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At left: Senior back Luke Capezzone (Photo by Liam Murphy)

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The Babson College men's soccer team scored the only goal it would need 61 seconds into the second half, limiting Eastern Connecticut State University to three shots in the match in handing the Warriors their first home loss of the year, 2-0, Monday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.

Babson (8-5-1) controlled the tempo and flow of the match throughout, finally getting on the board when sophomore back Andre Gonzalez headed  in sophomore midfielder Tyler Carlos' corner kick in the opening minute of the second half. That margin stood until the final minutes, when sophomore midfielder Justin Laurenzo deposited a rebound past Eastern freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) to add insurance.

The win is the third straight over Eastern for Babson, which ties up the six-game series with the Warriors. Eastern entered play with a 6-0 home record, allowing only one goal in those games. The loss is the first for Eastern after an 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) dating back to the second match of the season.

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At right: Sophomore back Zane Lombardo (Photo by Liam Murphy)

Babson spent most of the first half in its offensive end but could not get on the board. Its best opportunity came with 16 minutes left in the half when Carlos took a feed from Laurenzo on the left side of the box and cut in before unloading a blast that Walton denied at the left post.

Ranked seventh in New England, Eastern (8-2-3) had only two shots in the first half, but probably had the best chance when sophomore reserve back Zane Lombardo (Portland) found  senior forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) in the middle of the box with six minutes left.  Power, held without a point for the first time in seven matches, unleashed a low shot as Babson senior keeper Jackson Klein was diving to his right. With Klein on the ground, the ball deflected to the left, but Klein was still able to grab it.

The Beavers came right out in the second half and produced the only goal it would need. Taking Babson's only corner kick of the half, Carlos sent a perfectly-place ball to the front of the goal, where the  six-foot Gonzalez timed his leap perfectly and beat an overmatched Walton with his only shot of the match.

With just under three minutes left, Ventura collected a deflected ball in Eastern's defense, and raced untouched toward Walton. As he carried into the box, Ventura hesitated for a second, allowing Walton to station himself near the right and punch away the point-blank shot. Trailing the play, an unmarked Laurenzo was positioned on the right side of the box and cleaned up the play with a shot over the fallen Walton.

Babson outshot Eastern, 12-3, and held a 6-3 advantage in corners.

Despite absorbing his first loss since the season-opener, Walton made several remarkable saves -- his final total of five equalling his most since the second match of the season --  in keeping the Warriors within striking distance until the final minute.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference match Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

Men's Soccer: Slow Start, Fast Finish

After surrendering early goal, Warriors motor past So. Maine, 4-1

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Box score.HTM

GORHAM, Maine -- Senior Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) scored a pair of goals to help Eastern Connecticut State University overcome an early deficit and post a 4-1 victory over the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference men's soccer match Saturday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

At left: Mitch Power's two goals Saturday give him five in the last four matches.

With the win, the Warriors extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games (8-0-3) since dropping their season opener to Widener University.  Ranked seventh in New England, Eastern (8-1-3, 3-0-1 LEC) remains atop the LEC standings with 10 points, one better than UMass Dartmouth (3-1-0). The Corsairs dumped visiting Keene State College, 4-2, Saturday, to keep pace with Eastern.

Still searching for its first win of the season, Southern Maine (0-13-1, 0-4-0 LEC) dropped its sixth straight in this series to Eastern. The two-time defending LEC playoff champion Warriors extended their conference winning streak to 15 (14-0-1) dating back to 2011.

The Huskies threw a scare into the Warriors by grabbing a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute of play.  After Power tied the match late in the first half for Eastern on a penalty kick, Eastern senior Carl Stensland (Storrs) gave the Warriors the lead for good early in the second half, and Power and freshman Nicholas Warren (Southbury) followed with insurance goals in the final 11 minutes.

In the opening minutes, junior Nat LeBlanc crossed a ball from the right wing that found its way to classmate Caleb Leinoon at the back post to boost the hosts into the early lead.  Leino bounced his six-yard shot off the left post into the right side-netting for his second marker of the season.

The lead stood until the 41st minute when Power deposited a penalty kick into the right side of the net (awarded for a hand ball), past USM senior goalkeeper Stephen Sweatt. The goal was the third straight - and third tying one -- in three matches for Power, whose penalty kick last Saturday gave the Warriors a 1-1 LEC overtime draw with UMass Boston. His goal Tuesday also lifted the Warriors into a 1-1 overtime draw with Wesleyan.

Stensland gave the Warriors the lead for good early in the second half as he intercepted an errant clearing pass, took a couple of dribbles and rocketed an 18-yard shot into the left top corner of the net  The goal was the first for Stensland since 2011.

Power put the game away in the 79th minute when he took a feed from sophomore Tim Jennison (Coventry) and faked Sweatt out of position for an easy tap-in - his team-leading seventh goal of the year, fifth in the last four matches. It was the team-leading fourth assist of the season for Jennison.  Warren's third goal of the year made it 4-1 in the 84th minute.

Freshman goalkeeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) recorded one save to earn his eighth win of the season against three ties and a single loss. Sweatt finished a commendable performance with three saves.  Sweat was pressed into emergency duty in goal as both of USM's regular keepers were out with injuries.

Eastern hosts Babson College Monday at 3 p.m. The Beavers handed Eastern its only loss of the regular season last year with a 1-0, double-overtime triumph at Wellesley after the Warriors had won 14 and tied one of their first 15 matches.

Men's Soccer: Unbeaten Streak Hits 10

For second straight match, Power scores tying goal in 1-1 OT draw

Box score.HTM

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At left: Mitch Power

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Senior forward Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) scored the game-tying goal for the second straight match to help the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team extend its unbeaten streak to ten with a 1-1 double-overtime draw with Wesleyan University Tuesday afternoon.

Power took over the team lead with his fifth goal - his third goal in as many matches and fourth goal in the last five - when he beat Wesleyan (5-3-1) junior keeper Emmett McConnell on an assist from senior midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs) with 12 minutes left in regulation. Stensland had begun the match on defense but was moved up later in the contest. On Saturday, Power's penalty kick early in the second half had lifted Eastern into an identical 1-1 double overtime Little East Conference draw at Massachusetts Boston.

Wesleyan had taken a 1-0 lead 13 minutes earlier on freshman Charlie Gruner scored his second goal of the season.

The teams played 20 minutes of scoreless sudden death overtime in recording the first tie in this 14-game series.

Eastern (7-1-3) freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) lowered his goals-against average to 0.56 by playing 65 shutout minutes. Walton, last week's Little East Conference Goalkeeper and Rookie-of-the-Week, blanked Wesleyan over the first 45 minutes, then returned to record four saves in overtime to preserve the tie. Walton has allowed only one goal in his last seven starts and appearances.

Wesleyan had at least four good scoring opportunities come up empty as Walton made a pair of good saves, one in the first half and another in the second overtime, to thwart the Cardinal attack.  On the other two occasions, a first-half shot went wide left and a second-half try after a corner kick hit the right post.  Eastern's best additional scoring chances came with about six minutes left in regulation on a series of three shots, one saved by McConnell and two other attempts blocked by the Wesleyan defense.

Freshman Curtis Barnes (Amherst, MA) was touched for Wesleyan's goal in playing the second half, but came up with five saves when the Cardinals unloaded 14 of their 24 games shots in that second half.

All 17 players in uniform saw action, including senior back Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook), who came off the bench in his first appearance in three weeks.

Since dropping an season-opening 3-0 decision, Eastern is unbeaten, having won seven and tied three. The Warriors repeated as New England's No.7-ranked team in the most recent NSCAA ratings, released today.

Eastern visits the University of Southern Maine in a Little East conference match Saturday at 3 p.m.

Little East: Four from Eastern Honored

VIEW LATEST HIGHLIGHT VIDEOS:

Women's Volleyball vs. Keene State (Sept. 28)

Field Hockey vs. Southern Maine (Sept. 21)

 

Gasch, Luppi, Santos and Walton cited during week ending Oct. 6

pow100713.jpgLEC LOGO PARE72dpi.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Four Eastern Connecticut State University athletes - three of them defensive players representing three programs -- were recognized with individual awards as part of the fifth weekly Little East Conference awards program, announced Monday.

Freshman men's soccer goalie Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) repeated as Goalkeeper-of-the-Week and was additionally cited as Rookie-of-the-Week; senior outside hitter Nicki Gasch (New Fairfield) and sophomore libero Allie Luppi (Tewksbury, MA) were recognized with volleyball's Offensive and Defensive Player-of-the-Week awards, and freshman Chelsea Santos (Windsor Locks)  was named women's soccer Goalkeeper-of-the-Week.

The honor is the first in the careers of all but Walton.

Walton extended his streak to 551 minutes and 16 seconds without allowing a goal by playing the first 80 minutes in the team's fifth straight shutout and seventh straight win in a midweek victory over Saint Joseph's College (ME) and the first 21 minutes of a 1-1 double overtime road victory with Massachusetts Boston. Walton lowered his goals-against average to a season-best 0.57 with four saves in his fifth shutout in his ninth start against Saint Joseph's and raised his season's save percentage to a season-high of .829 with five saves against UMass Boston.

Eastern men's soccer players have been honored a total of six times this year. Freshman midfielder Nicholas Warren (Southbury) was named Rookie-of-the-Week twice and senior back/midfielder Carl Stensland (Storrs) Defensive Player-of-the-Week once.

Gasch led Eastern with 39 kills and 45.5 points in 12 sets and represented Eastern on the all-tournament team when the Warriors won two of three matches at its own Crabtree Classic. Gasch accumulated nearly one-third of the team's attack attempts and averaged 3.25 kills. In a Little East Conference three-set sweep of UMass Dartmouth in the tournament, Gasch had ten kills and a .259 attack percentage, and in a four-set victory over the University of New England, had a season-high 16 kills and attacked at .302.

Luppi averaged 5.45 digs and commited only three errors on 54 serve reception attempts for a percentage of .944.  Sharing libero duties recently, Luppi set personal highs with 23 digs twice at this past Saturday's Crabree Classic hosted by Eastern, and with 21 digs twice in two of the tournament matches. In a four-set victory over University of New England in the tournament , Luppi had 23 reception attempts with only one error, and 21 digs. In 63 sets this year, Luppi averages 2.75 digs and has a .951 reception percentage.

Prior to this week, senior libero Erynn Miller (Stratford) was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week twice and freshman outside hitter Adrianna Mihalek (Woodbury) Rookie-of-the-Week once.

Back in the starting lineup after missing nearly a month with an injury, Santos made eight saves to shut out 2012 Little East Conference playoff champion Massachusetts Boston Saturday at home. The shutout was the second in three career starts for Santos, who held the Beacons scoreless for the first time this year.Santos has a 0.33 goals-against average and .909 save percentage this year.

Previously this year, senior back Megan Godwin (Manchester) and sophomore back Gia Karahalios (South Windsor) were honored with weekly awards as Defensive Player-of-the-Week.

All three teams return to action on the road Tuesday. Men's soccer (7-1-2)  takes on Wesleyan University at 4 p.m., women's soccer (6-4-0) meets Amherst College (ranked No. 6 in New England) at 4 p.m., and women's volleyball (9-9) plays Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference match at 6 p.m.

 

 

Eastern Soccer ID Clinic Set for Dec. 8

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer program will sponsor an ID Clinic for boys and girls' high school students on Sunday, Dec. 8 on the Eastern campus.

The clinic is under the direction of Eastern head coach Greg DeVito and his staff  and will run from 11:30 a.m. (registration) through 5 p.m. at a cost of $100.

The clinic will afford student-athletes an opportunity to receive instruction from college coaches and will encompass training, instructional matches, a campus tour and admissions information. Lunch will be provided.

Space is limited to 40 participants. Individuals can register on line at www.ecsuyouthsoccercamp.com. For additional information or questions, please contact Greg DeVito at 860-465-4334.

 


 

M-Soccer: Streaks are Extended, Ended

Power's penalty kick lifts Warriors into Little East Conference tie

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Box score.HTM

BOSTON, Mass. - Playing its first match away from home in nearly three weeks, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team may not have come away with a win following its Little East Conference match at the University of Massachusetts Boston, but the Warriors were able to extend three lengthy unbeaten streaks.

At right: Mitch Power (Photo by Liam Murphy)

On the strength of senior midfielder Mitch Power's (Douglas, MA) game-tying penalty kick goal in the opening 30 seconds of the second half, Eastern (7-1-2, 2-0-1 LEC) came away with a 1-1 double-overtime draw at the Clark Athletic Field.

With the tie, Eastern extended its  unbeaten streak to nine (7-0-2) dating back to the second match of this year, its Little East unbeaten streak to 14 (13-0-1) dating back to 2011, and its unbeaten streak against UMass Boston (7-4-1, 1-1-1 LEC) to 14 (13-0-1), dating back to1999.
The tie gives the Warriors their seventh point in the conference standings, one ahead of Keene State College and Massachusetts Dartmouth, both of whom cut two points off the Warriors' conference lead with wins over Rhode Island College and the University of Southern Maine, respectively.

UMass dominated the play in the first 45 minutes, with Edmilson Barros  scoring the first goal in the 26th minute. After receiving a pass right outside the Warriors box, the dangerous back took the Warriors defense on one-on-one.  With a quick flick of the ball, Barros was able to get around the first defender.  As he began to take on the second, the ball shot up in the air. He  then made a great move around the final defender and just as the ball came down he would blast it to the near post.

The goal, which was unassisted, marked the team-leading eighth of the year for the freshman and was the first allowed by Eastern freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) in 551 minutes and 16 seconds (more than six full games). Since giving up a goal in an overtime win over Ramapo College nearly three weeks ago, the Warriors had posted five straight shutouts
The Beacons had actually found the back of the net earlier in the first half, but that goal was called back after Barros was flagged for the offside.

After the break, Eastern, ranked seventh in New England,  tied match on Power's penalty kick goal  -- his team-tying fourth of the year. The Beacons were whistled for a clear takedown in the box on the play.

As time continued to wind down, the Warriors got their best chance of the half called back due to an offside.  A laser of a shot from about 12 yards out nearly gave Eastern the advantage on the scoreboard, unfortunately for the Warriors they were flagged by the sideline official, ending the celebration abruptly. 

In the first ten-minute OT session, UMass Boston recorded the only two shots, one of which went wide, the other blocked by an Eastern defender.  In the second OT, the Warriors nearly walked away with a victory had it not been for a huge save by Rosales in the opening minutes.  The Warriors would get off just one more shot before Marcus Pizzetti was able to return the favor with a pair of shots of his own, both of which were saved by Walton. 
On the day, the Beacons outshot Eastern 19-7 and held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Eastern visits Wesleyan University in a non-conference match Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

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