Freshman John Macaroco
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's soccer team defeated visiting Eastern Connecticut State, 1-0, in the final Little East Conference match of the season for both teams at Cressy Field Saturday.
In the 76th minute of play, UMD freshman midfielder John Macaroco (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) broke a scoreless tie, firing home a one-timer off a corner kick by freshman forward Nick Gontijo (Hudson, MA/Hudson HS), for the first goal of his Corsair career. The lone goal proved to be the decisive advantage en route to a 1-0 victory for the Corsairs.
"This was a great way to cap off a good regular season for us," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Henry Almeida. "Today, the biggest factor for us was our ability to hold the ball and dictating the pace of the match. John [Macaroco] is a good player and I'm very proud of him for making the most of his opportunities. Our biggest concern going into the playoffs is injuries. We played 19 different players today, which shows the strength of our depth. Eastern Connecticut is a very good team, and we have to play them again on Wednesday at their place, so we're going to try and stay even keel, appreciate the win but understand that we have a battle coming up on Wednesday."
UMass Dartmouth outshot Eastern Connecticut State, 11-10. Junior goalkeeper Mike Phelan (Carver, MA/Carver HS) made four saves for UMD, while senior goalie Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ/Notre Dame HS) stopped four shots for ECSU.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 11-6-1 and 4-2-1 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while Eastern Connecticut dropped to 12-5-1 and 6-1-0 in the LEC with the defeat. Both teams will return to action in the Little East Conference playoffs, which begin Wednesday.