Oct. 15, 2011
BOSTON, Mass. – Led by senior goalkeeper Carl Appel, the Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University (9-3-1, 5-0 LEC) defeated men’s soccer (8-5, 1-4 LEC) by the final score of 2-0 Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Field.
Appel, who was named an NSCAA All-Region selection last season, totaled a season-high 11 saves to help the Warriors remain a-top the conference standings. All 11 saves for Appel, represented every shot taken by the Beacons in Saturday’s contest. For the Warriors, their offensive effort produced eight shots, with five of those ending up on goal. In corner kick chances Eastern Connecticut held a 6-3 advantage over UMass.
Giving the Warriors the edge in Saturday’s match was Tom Vear, who broke the 0-0 draw in the 44th minute of the first half. He also assisted Eastern Connecticut’s second goal in the opening minutes of the second half to help them secure the victory. The insurance goal was netted by the Warriors leading scorer, Matt Furman, his sixth of the year.
Saturday’s contest was without a doubt a physical one as UMass looked to upset the eighth ranked team in New England. In the first half, the Beacons controlled a majority of the momentum, as they used their outside midfielders, Reyn Johnson (Mangilao, Guam) and Kelvin Martinez (East Boston, MA) to bring the ball up the sidelines and cross it into the box.
They also took advantage of openings in the middle of the field, and with solid passing were able to work the ball behind the defense to also create opportunities. Unfortunately, Appel held his line every time, preventing any early first half scores. With just under two minutes left before the break, the Warriors were able to take advantage of a long ball out of their defensive third, which landed right on the foot of Luke Capezzone. The midfielder then made a perfect pass across the box to Vear who pushed the ball to the far post to make it a 1-0 ball game.
Vear, would then come back in the second half and on another quick pass across the box connected with Furman to make it 2-0. As the half continued, Eastern’s defense held strong, while the offense continued to pressure the Beacons defensive line. However with less than 10 minutes left in the contest, UMass went back to their original game plan and began testing the Warriors defense and Appel.
One of their best chances came on a cross from the left side of the field, which found the head of Dan Purchia (Winchester, MA). The junior forward got his head to it, and nearly snuck it to the far post. Victor Hugo Costa (Malden, MA) also had a solid chance in the closing minutes as he was able to get through the defense, but his shot was deflected wide by Appel. In the net for UMass, junior Brycen Dowd (Mansfield, MA) totaled three saves in Saturday’s contest.
Men’s soccer returns to action on Thursday when they host Wheelock College at 3:30 p.m.