Oct. 17, 2009
by John Cabral
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's soccer team was held scoreless for the third time in five days Saturday afternoon, falling 1-0 to Plymouth State in a hard-fought Little East Conference match at Cressy Field.
Following a scoreless first half, Panther sophomore midfielder Alex Martins (Pawcatuck, Conn./Stonington HS) found the back of the net off a corner from senior forward Semir Mehmedovic (Zvornik, Bosnia/Franklin, N.H. HS). The goal came in the 60th minute, just two minutes after Martins had a good shot robbed by Corsair freshman goalkeeper Kellen Rauch (Ashland, Mass./Ashland HS), who tallied six saves on the afternoon.
After a tough 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mass. Maritime on Thursday night, UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Henry Almeida implored his players for better effort in future matches. They responded with a better game Saturday, but still fell to their third consecutive defeat. Overall, Almeida felt it was a solid performance. "It was a great showing in a very competitive match," Almeida said. "The game was back and forth. We had a lot of opportunities and couldn't convert, but there's no shame in the result. Plymouth is a quality team."
The game's final 30 minutes were peppered with numerous missed opportunities for the Corsairs. Most notably, in the 62nd minute, sophomore midfielder Kyle Lopes (Somerset, Mass./Bristol CC) fired a shot toward the net which slammed the bottom of the crossbar and bounced straight down. Believing they had tied the game, the Corsair bench erupted into a loud cheer, but officials ruled that the ball did not cross the goal line and was therefore not a goal. In the game's waning moments, the Corsairs had an opportunity to extend the game into overtime. With fifteen seconds remaining, senior midfielder Jarred Goldstein (Weymouth, Mass./UMass Lowell) put forward a header from inside the box, but missed wide to the left. The Corsairs outshot the Panthers 20-12.
The Corsairs are in the middle of a tough stretch of five matches in nine days. To date, the Corsairs have yet to score a goal in the first three of those five matches. "It's a huge concern," Almeida said. "Someone needs to step up and finish for us. With hard work, it will come." Almeida cited the strong efforts from midfielders Lopes, Goldstein, and junior Jason Couto (Somerset, Mass./Bristol CC) as reason for optimism.
Almeida reported that when speaking to his team after the game, he originally announced a team workout for Sunday morning, but had second thoughts and subsequently offered the team Sunday off. The team refused the off day, expressing a desire to come out for the morning session. "That's the kind of work ethic and dedication that they have," Almeida said. "I'm proud of that decision."
With the loss, the UMass Dartmouth falls to 8-5 on the season and 2-2 in Little East Conference play. The Panthers improve to 8-5 and 2-3 in the Little East. The Corsairs return to action on Monday night when they will face Southern Maine in a neutral site contest at Salem State. The contest is a makeup of a match postponed due to inclement weather which was originally scheduled for Cressy Field on October 3. Plymouth returns to action when they host Castleton on Wednesday afternoon.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOCCER