NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Second-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth scored two goals in the opening 11 minutes en route to a 3-1 victory over visiting third-seeded Keene State College this evening in the semifinals of the 2013 Little East Men's Soccer Championship.
The Corsairs (11-7) will advance to the conference championship for the second straight season and fourth time in program history. UMass Dartmouth will face a familiar opponent in top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University at noon on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Mansfield, Conn. The Corsairs have drawn the Warriors in their past three championship appearances (2013, 2012, and 2009).
Owl Head Coach Dr. Ron Butcher completed his legendary career on the Keene State sideline this evening. In his 43-year career, Butcher has compiled 596 victories to rank fifth on the NCAA men's soccer all-time wins list.
Senior Victor Ferreira (St. Michael, Portugal) paced UMass Dartmouth with a goal and an assist for three points, while junior Josh Chao (New Bedford, Mass.) and freshman Matt Vidal (New Bedford, Mass.) each netted a marker.
The Corsairs charged out of the gates with three quality scoring chances in the first 15 minutes of regulation. In the ninth minute, the Keene State keeper stymied Ferreira's point-blank opportunity with a diving save to his left. On the ensuing rush, sophomore Corey Morris (Freehold, N.J.) sent a touch pass to Chao on the right flank. Chao cut across the grain and fired his ninth marker of the season into the net to provide the hosts with an early 1-0 advantage.
Less than two minutes later, Vidal recorded the eventual game-winner goal, when he pounced on a rebound and deposited his fifth goal of the season into the vacant net. Ferreira was credited with an assist.
Keene State cut the Corsairs' lead in half in the 38th minute, when senior Scott Douglas (East Greenwich, R.I.) was pulled down from behind inside the 18-yard box. Douglas converted on the penalty kick for his 15th marker of the season to cap the first half scoring.
UMass Dartmouth received some breathing room in the 82nd minute. Ferreira utilized some crafty footwork to beat an Owl defender and create a 1-v-1 opportunity with the goalie. Ferreira would not be stoned the second time, as the senior striker fired an insurance marker through the charging keepers' five-hole. It was Ferreira's team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Corsair freshman Luis Carranza (New Bedford, Mass.) made four stops to earn the victory, while junior Michael Ketterman (Monson, Mass.) stopped five attempts in the loss.