MEDFORD, Mass.- The third-seeded Eastern Nazarene College men's soccer team downed top-seeded Lesley 3-1 in the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament finals to claim its first-ever NECC crown Sunday evening at Hormel Stadium.
The Lions set a new single-season program record with a 16-3-0 overall record and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Lynx conclude the season with a 9-10-0 mark.
Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) was named the NECC Tournament's Most Valuable Player while Edmilson Centeio (New Bedford, Mass.), Sunil Lepcha (Charlotte, N.C.), and Charlie Swann (London, England) joined Zaffonato on the All-Tournament Team.
The visitors jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a strike in the 12th minute. Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) buried his 11th goal of the season as he fired home a cross off the boot of Didac Gomes Castellvi (Tarragona, Spain).
Eastern Nazarene doubled its advantage to 2-0 in the 24th minute. Prem Subedi (Scranton, Pa.) tallied his first marker of the fall as he poked in his own rebound.
The Lions produced eight shots in the first 45 minutes of play while limiting Lesley to just a pair of attempts.
Eastern Nazarene tacked on its third score of the contest to widen the margin to 3-0 in the 78th minute. Charlie Swann (London, England) converted a penalty kick to collect his league-leading 18th goal of the year.
Lesley cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 80th minute as Shane Rockenbach netted a penalty kick for his second tally of the season.
Junior Tim Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) finished with four saves between the posts for the guests.
The Lions finished with 15 shots and one corner kick in the match. The Lynx manufactured eight shot attempts and five corner kicks earned on the night.
Eastern Nazarene will learn its NCAA Tournament destination and opponent when the NCAA Tournament Selection Show airs Monday, November 11 at 1:30pm on www.ncaa.com.
2019 Men's Soccer All-Tournament Team & MVP:
MVP: Leon Zaffonato, Eastern Nazarene
Charlie Swann, Eastern Nazarene
Edmilson Centeio, Eastern Nazarene
Sunil Lepcha, Eastern Nazarene
David Crutchfield, Lesley
Tiago Pacheco, Lesley
AJ Genova, Lesley
Jack Wadleigh, Lesley
Jackson Easter, New England Col.
Panagiotis Galatas, New England Col.
Julian Brosi, Elms
Justin Szwajkowski, Elms
(Release courtesy of Eastern Nazarene Sports Information)