BOSTON, Mass.-#11/16 UMass Boston men's soccer knocked off rival Rhode Island College 2-0 behind a huge game from Marcelo Cunha (Goiania, Brazil) in the Beacons' home opener.
#11/16 UMass Boston 2, Rhode Island College 0
(UMass Boston 8-0, Little East 2-0)
(Rhode Island College 5-3, Little East 1-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Cunha scored the game-winning goal on a picture-perfect free kick from 25-yards out in the first half and then proceeded to anchor a back line that shut down reigning Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year Komla Dogbey.
Freshman Ocane Williamson (Spanish Town, Jamaica) tacked on his team-leading eight goal of the season with less than four minutes to play, to cap off the scoring in the first-ever Little East Conference "Game of the Season."
In net, freshman Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) completed his fourth shutout of the season by making five stops. As a team, the Beacons set a new program-record with their fifth-straight shutout, breaking the prior mark set by the 1987 team.
Rhode Island College was led by senior goalie Chris Moura. The Anchormen keeper made a number of highlight reel saves to keep his team in the game and finished the contest with 12 saves on 14 shots.
Dogbey was held to six shots and three shots on goal against a Beacons' side that he has never scored against. Cunha and senior backs Matheus Reis (Espirito Santo, Brazil) and Arlindo Goncalves (Brockton, Mass.) consistently stymied Dogbey's efforts to turn and combined to double team him whenever possible.
UMass Boston nearly opened the scoring at 39:09 if not for a terrific jumping save from Moura. Jake Davenport (Weymouth, Mass.) wove his way from the sideline to the top of the box and left the ball for Daniel Morales (San Diego, Calif.), who's right-footed missile from the top of the box was tipped over the bar by Moura.
Just over 10 minutes later, Cunha opened the scoring on a free kick. After a foul on the near side just outside the box, Cunha sent a left-footed shot over the wall that bent just off the inside post and home, with Moura having no chance to make the stop.
Dogbey and the Anchormen finally got some control of the game right before half, but Dogbey's best chance from the far sailed wide, when he took a shot from a difficult angle along the goal line.
The Beacons upped their play in the second half and totally dominated possession and the chances.
After Moura made several phenomenal plays to keep the game 1-0, the Beacons struck for a second tally at 86:15. Senior Edmilson Barros (Praia, Cape Verde) took a pass from Reis on the near sideline and turned up field with three defenders to beat. He sprinted into the 18-yard box with Moura coming out to challenge a possible shot. Instead, Barros slipped a centering pass amongst the two Anchormen center backs and Williamson pushed it home.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot Rhode Island College 25-10 and earned a 14-5 edge in shots on goals. The Beacons also took home a 7-4 lead in corners.
- The Beacons extended their shutout streak to a program-record five games and 474:37 overall. Castro-Dreher is just one shutout shy of tying Brycen Dowd's ('12) record for shutout in a season (seven).
- Head coach Jake Beverlin improved to a perfect 4-0 in Little East Conference home openers.
- With the victory, UMass Boston improved to 4-2 against Rhode Island College over the past four seasons and earned their fourth-straight win against their rivals. The Anchormen still holds a 22-14-2 advantage.
#11/16 UMass Boston will head back on the road for a three-game road trip. The Beacons will travel to Bridgewater State on Wednesday for a 7:00 p.m. start.