BOSTON, Mass.—Raffi DeSouza (Watertown, Mass.) and Julio DaSilva (Icara, Brazil) combined for three goals and three assists, to lead #3 UMass Boston men's soccer past #6 University of Southern Maine in the Little East Quarterfinal Round.
#3 UMass Boston 4, #6 University of Southern Maine 1
(UMass Boston 9-9-2)
(U. Southern Maine 3-13-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons two leading scorers combined for each of the first two Beacons goals and factored into all four goals, to lead the Beacons to their fifth-straight LEC Semifinal.
With the victory, #3 UMass Boston will play #2 Keene State College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the LEC Semifinals. Both semifinals and the finals will be hosted by top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University.
DeSouza led the Beacons with a team-high two goals and also added an assist. DaSilva tacked on the game-winning goal and the first two assists of his collegiate career.
Sophomore transfer Josh Crespo (Curitiba, Brazil) added his first goal as a Beacon in the victory.
In net, junior Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) made three saves on four shots to improve to 8-7-2 on the season.
Southern Maine senior keeper Simon Hulbert made two saves on six shots in his final collegiate contest.
UMass Boston came out of the game firing in the opening 10 minutes. The Beacons nearly forced two own goals and Christopher Garcia (Wakefield, Mass.) caught the post on another opportunity.
After being stymied for the opening half hour, UMass Boston grabbed the lead at 34:37. DaSilva raced to the byline and wrestled his way past the defender to keep the play alive. He then turned and fed an on-rushing DeSouza in the box, who calmly slotted a left-footed shot inside the far post.
Southern Maine created their best chance of the first half in the final 30 seconds. Junior Chris Pepin booted a free kick from inside his own half that was headed on to James Hutchison inside the box. Hutchison blasted a shot that Castro-Dreher stopped with his right arm to keep the game 1-0.
UMass Boston doubled their lead just 5:19 into the second half. DeSouza received a pass at the edge of the box on the far side and sent a lofted ball into the six-yard box that DaSilva headed just over the outstretched hand of Hulbert.
With Southern Maine forced to open up and push forward, UMass Boston pushed their lead to 3-0 at 56:25. The Beacons executed a perfect give-and-go between DaSilva and Crespo, with Crespo sneaking a shot inside the near post for his first goal as a Beacon.
The Huskies answered right back at 58;19. Jonata Mbongo took the ball off of a Beacon and dribbled through three defenders before sliding a shot to the back post. Sam Anderson tipped the ball across the line just before it was going in.
UMass Boston added an insurance goal at 84:10. Garcia fed Riven Rodrigues (Brockton, Mass.) who charged towards the top of the 18-yard box before slipping a pass to DeSouza behind the defense. DeSouza slipped a shot just inside a diving Hulbert for the final 4-1 score.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston improved to 7-2-1 all-time in the LEC Tournament and 6-0 in home tournament games. The Beacons have reached the LEC Semifinals in five of head coach Jake Beverlin's six seasons.
- For the first time since Opening Day, UMass Boston is back to .500. The Beacons have won three-straight games for the first time all season.
- DaSilva recorded his seventh goal of the season and fifth game-winning goal. His five game-winning goals are tied for third all-time in a single-season in program history. The Beacons are 5-0 this season when he scores a goal.
- UMass Boston outshot the Huskies 12-7 and earned a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. UMass Boston also led 3-0 in corner kicks.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 21-14-2 all-time against the Huskies. The Beacons are 7-0-0 against Southern Maine under Beverlin.
#3 UMass Boston will travel to Eastern Connecticut State University this weekend looking to win their fourth LEC Tournament Title in five seasons.