Oct. 31, 2009
DANBURY, CT-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's soccer team scored twice in the first half and held off host Western Connecticut State, 2-1, in the final Little East Conference match of the season at the Westside Athletic Complex Saturday. The win, coupled with a 3-2 Eastern Connecticut State overtime victory at Plymouth State, propelled the Corsairs into the Little East Conference playoffs for the first time in seven years.
Sophomore midfielder Ebenezer Vicente (Praia, Cape Verde/Massasoit CC) gave the Corsairs a 1-0 lead when he converted a pass from junior midfielder Jason Couto (Somerset, MA/Somerset HS/Bristol CC) in the 31st minute. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Lopes (Somerset, MA/Somerset HS/Bristol CC) also drew an assist. David Quenah tied the score for WCSU in the 37th minute, but senior forward Matt Correia (Dracut, MA/Dracut HS) took a pass from sophomore Robbie Muller (Rochester, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS) with two minutes to play in the first half to put the Corsairs ahead for good.
"I'm happy for Matt, he got hurt last year and came back in the fall to finish up his classes and graduate," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Henry Almeida. "He is the unsung hero for our team this year."
A play midway through the first half was pivotal for the Corsairs. "I felt like we were in control the whole game," said Almeida. "We got a beautiful play on the first goal, we made a mistake on the second, then the same kid that scored came down again on a breakaway and (freshman goalkeeper) Mike (Phelan, Carver, MA/Carver HS) stoned him. That was the moment of the match, it turned the momentum around, and we got the winner."
Despite the win, the Corsairs needed Eastern Connecticut to defeat Plymouth State to make the playoffs. "We had live stats on the phone the whole way back," said Almeida. "We pulled up to the Tripp Athletic Center, and the last update we had showed it at 2-2, and we thought that was it. All of a sudden we heard some screaming from the back of the bus, and our guys went crazy."
The Corsairs out shot the Colonials, 20-11. Freshman goalkeeper Mike Phelan (Carver, MA/Carver HS) made four saves for UMD, while Angelo Tsingerliotis made six for Western Connecticut.
UMass Dartmouth is now 9-6-2 and 3-3-1 in the Little East Conference, while Western Connecticut is now 4-13-0 and 1-6-0. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit top seed Keene State Wednesday in the first round of the Little East Conference playoffs.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOCCER