WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester State University men's soccer team captured the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament championship as the No. 1 seeded Lancers downed the No. 6 seeded Fitchburg State Falcons 4-2 Sunday (Nov. 6) afternoon at John Coughlin Field.
The Lancers earned their first tournament championship in 11 years, as the last time they won it was in 2005. With the title, Worcester State earns an automatic bid to the NCAA regional men's soccer tournament. Pairings for the tournament will be announced on Monday (Nov. 7) at http://www.ncaa.com/live/player?vid=2016/2724&date=2016/11/07&sf41428513=1
The Lancers and Falcons battled it out in the first 10 minutes of play as each team slotted one goal apiece. However, Worcester State came back with two unanswered goals for a 3-1 advantage going into the intermission. The Lancers scored one more in the 49th minute, and held the Falcons to just one late goal to seal the victory. The Lancers outshot the Falcons 14-10 throughout the entirety of the match.
After scoring two goals and assisting one in the semifinal game, Worcester State's tournament MVP, Andre Ipojuca (Saugus, Mass.), put the Lancers on the scoreboard just five minutes into the game when he headed the ball into the net off a corner kick from George Siotis (Oxford, Mass.).
The Falcons knotted the score just minutes later when Marckdonard Bastein (Worcester, Mass.) beat his defender and dished the ball to an open Matthew Krikorian (Groton, Mass.) who fired the ball to the low right corner from the left side.
The Lancers added to their lead in the 35th minute when Mitzschael Myrthil (Clinton, Mass.) and Fitchburg's keeper, Alex Al-Zaibak (Hingham, Mass.) collided fighting for the ball following a misdirected goal kick. The two ended up on the ground, and Mytrhil put a spin on it, directing the ball into the empty net.
Lancers pushed ahead 4-1 just four minutes into the second half on yet another header. Worcester's Jonathan Silva (Worcester, Mass.) tripped up the defender in the right corner, and arched the ball in front of the goal allowing Ipojuca and Bryan Brasil (Williamsburg, Mass.) to each get a head on the ball, sending it into the net out of the keeper's reach.
The Falcons scored one goal late in the second on a Steven Martinez (Middlesex, N.J.) corner kick, but it was not enough for the Falcons to begin a comeback.
Worcester State's Jason Barrett (Spencer, Mass.) earned his eighth win of the season, as he stopped two shots on net. The Falcons' Al-Zaibak suffered the loss in a six-save performance.
Worcester State improves to 12-6 on the season, while the Falcons conclude their season with a 7-12-1 record.
Men's soccer team celebrates!
MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann and Tournament MVP Andre Ipojuca