Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The third-seeded Elms College men's soccer prevailed over visiting sixth-seeded Becker College, 3-0, in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's Soccer Championship Quarterfinals at Leary Field Tuesday evening.
The sides battled through nearly forty minutes of scoreless play to open the contest as Elms freshman keeper A.J. Oliviera (Beacon Falls, Conn.) and Becker freshman goalie Sam Majewski (Warren, Mass.) recorded three saves apiece.
In the 38th minute, Elms sophomore Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.) was taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick opportunity for the Blazers. On the ensuing attempt, Blazer senior C.J. Dabkowski (Bristol, Conn.) tucked a shot under a diving save attempt from Majewski to stake Elms to a 1-0 lead.
With the final seconds ticking off the clock in the first half, Elms drew a foul at the top of the box, where Blazer junior Anthony Romei (Enfield, Conn.) beat the clock and ripped a shot beyond the reach of Majewski and into the upper 90 with 1.9 seconds on the board to send Elms into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Becker freshman Colby Koch (Norfolk, Mass.) had a chance to put the Hawks on the scoreboard early in the second stanza, but his first shot sailed over the net, and Oliviera denied his second attempt to maintain a 2-0 contest. In the 55th minute, Jaden slipped through the Becker defense and put a shot on goal, which Majewski turned aside, but the loose ball landed at the feet of junior John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.), who knocked a shot to the back of the net, lifting Elms a 3-0 advantage. Oliviera made a pair of crucial saves down the stretch to preserve the 3-0 shutout victory over the Hawks.
The Blazers controlled the shot column, 23-10, during the contest. Oliviera posted five saves in the match, while Majewski and junior Devin Ramos (Warwick, R.I.) combined for 12 saves for Becker.
With the win, the Blazers (8-11) advance to the semifinals to face two-seed Lesley University at BB&N Field Friday at 8:00 p.m. The Hawks finish the 2017 campaign with a 4-15 mark.