No.1 Lesley and No. 3 Eastern Nazarene to Face-Off in NECC Men's Soccer Title Match

No.1 Lesley and No. 3 Eastern Nazarene to Face-Off in NECC Men's Soccer Title Match

In the first New England Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer (NECC) semifinal match of the day, the third-seeded Eastern Nazarene College men's soccer team earned a 6-1 win at second-seeded New England College to reach its first-ever NECC Tournament Finals.

The visitors grabbed a 1-0 edge in the 15th minute. Leon Zaffonato headed home his ninth goal of the season off of a cross by Bryan Vargas.  Eastern Nazarene doubled its lead to 2-0 in the 27th minute. Zaffonato lasered a left-footed volley into the back of the net to collect his 10th marker of the year and second of the match.

The Lions carried a 2-0 advantage into the halftime intermission after generating 13 first-half shots while New England College fired five attempts.

The guests tacked on their third goal of the game in the 62nd minute to extend their lead to 3-0. Stanley Elie notched his first tally of the season with a header from the top of the box.

Eastern Nazarene added a score in the 68th minute to widen the gap to 4-0. Charlie Swann buried his league-leading 17th goal of the year, firing a one-time shot into the back of the cage after a feed from Prem Subedi.                                                    

The Lions stretched the margin to 5-0 with their fifth goal of the day. Jose Ruiz knocked in his first marker of the fall as Kirby Georgeon  provided the assist.

The visitors added a goal in the 83rd minute to expand their advantage to 6-0 as Sheelens Ostine bagged his second tally of the season.

The Pilgrims got on the board in the 87th minute to cut the deficit to 6-1. Panagiotis Galatas netted his sixth goal of the year for the home side.

Eastern Nazarene concluded the contest with 26 shots while New England College produced 17 attempts on the afternoon.

Junior Tim Eddings posted seven saves in his seventh-consecutive start between the pipes.

In the second semifinal match-up of the day, top-seeded Lesley battled the fifth-seeded Elms, with Lesley coming out on top with a 2-0 victory. 

The first goal of the game came from Lesley's Jack Wadleigh, who netted his 12th goal of the season, with an assist from Daniel Monteserin, in the 28th minute. 

The score would remain 1-0 until the 73rd minute, when the Lynx's AJ Genova would provide an insurance goal, assisted by Shane Rockenbach.   

The 2019 NECC Goalkeeper of the Year, David Crutchfield, picked up the shutout, making two saves in 90:00 minutes of action. 

Lesley outshot the Blazers, with nine shots to Elms' seven. 

Eastern Nazarene and Lesley will meet in the NECC Championship match Sunday, November 10, in a rematch of the final game of the regular season, in which the

Lynx knocked off Eastern Nazarene with the top seed on the line. The match is set for a 5:30 p.m. start, hosted by Lesley.