FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
It'll be the second seed versus the eight seed in this year's Northeast-10 Conference Men's Soccer Championship Final as Merrimack and Bentley advanced during Friday's Semifinal Round. Here's how the two games went down -
#2 Merrimack 3, #3 Southern Connecticut 1
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Second-seeded Merrimack controlled play throughout most of their Northeast-10 Conference Semifinal win over third-seeded Southern Connecticut en route to a 3-1 win. With the win, Merrimack will now host Sunday's Championship Final, where they'll take on upset-minded Bentley at 1pm. The winner earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, although Merrimack looks to be in very good shape to be selected for the field regardless of Sunday's outcome.
Mattia Lanzi got the Warriors on the board in the 12th minute to give them a lead they would never relinquish. Aasmund Joedahl would add an insurance goal midway through the second half and Franklin Liam Born would cement the win in the 71st minute to give Merrimack a 3-0 advantage.
#8 Bentley 2, #5 Le Moyne 1
WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley is headed to the NE10 Finals after they defeated another higher seed with a 2-1 victory over Le Moyne in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
It's the fifth straight win for the Falcons overall - all by 2-1 scores - and seventh in their last eight games. It's the second straight higher seed Bentley has defeated in the NE10 playoffs, after they eliminated the top seed Adelphi in the quarterfinals, and now No. 5 seed Le Moyne in the semis.
Le Moyne jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a goal by freshman Patrick Strauss in the 20th minute. A free kick was sent in from the left by Marcello Palucci that fell into the six yard box. Strauss won the battle for it, and poked in a shot from close range to give the Dolphins an early lead.
Bentley though had a response only five minutes later, as Sean Sullivan and Julian Stewart combined for the tying goal in the 25th minute. Stewart got it started with a run down the right wing, and a pass into the 18 yard box for Sullivan. Sullivan got on the end of Stewart's pass in the six yard box and fired a low shot past Le Moyne keeper Ben Beaury for the tying goal.
Just five minutes after halftime, the Falcons scored the go-ahead goal as freshman back Connor Mote struck from 18 yards out.
On Le Moyne's next trip down the field, Bentley keeper David Price made a huge save to deny a header from Salar Faryar from close range after a cross had been sent in from the left wing. Price made another huge save to deny a tying goal in the 81st minute when he dove to his left to stop a hard shot from Adam Resetarits off a volley.
Le Moyne had a potential tying goal in the 89th minute called back for off sides, and the Falcons hung on to seal their first trip to the NE10 finals since 2010.
2017 NE10 Men's Soccer Championship Schedule
Tuesday, October 31
Match 1: #8 Bentley 2, #1 Adelphi 1
Match 2: #2 Merrimack 2 #7 Franklin Pierce 0
Match 3: #3 Southern Connecticut 3, #6 Saint Rose 1
Match 4: #5 Le Moyne 0, #4 Southern New Hampshire 0
Friday, November 3
Match 5: #8 Bentley 2, #5 Le Moyne 1
Match 6: #2 Merrimack 3, #3 Southern Connecticut 1
Sunday, November 5
Match 7: #8 Bentley at #2 Merrimack | 1:00pm
Additional information for this reelase provided by the athletic communication staff at Bentley. Photo credit - Kevin McNeil, Le Moyne athletics
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.