FRANKLIN, Mass. ---- Andrew Revanales (Trinidad/Sharon HS) tapped in the game-winning golden goal with 52 seconds left in the second overtime period as the Massasoit men's soccer team won the Region 21 Championship in thrilling fashion, 4-3, against nationally ranked and formerly undefeated Dean College at Longley Field on Saturday.
Massasoit (12-5) now advances to the Northeast District Tournament, held from Nov. 7-8, with the tournament set to be held at Region 19 Champion, Mercer County CC in Trenton, N.J. The Warriors will face the Region 3 Champion on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.
"Talk about some intense soccer, that was it today," head coach Rui Estrela said. "Honestly, I thought we had this game. We played well enough to win. In my opinion we beat more than just Dean, having two PK's called on us, but it is what it is. These kids showed so much heart today, so much toughness, so much speed. It was a pleasure to watch them."
For Massasoit it marked the 24th Region 21 Championship in program history, including 10 of the last 12. The Warriors now own a 8-2 advantage against Dean in the Region 21 Finals, meeting 10 times in the last 14 years. It also marks the eighth regional crown for the Warriors under head coach Estrela.
"We've won quite a few of these (Region 21 Championships) and this ranks up there as one of the best New England Championships we've had. So proud of these guys, they wanted it bad," Estrela said.
The final meeting between the two colleges as Region 21 opponents did not disappoint, as a high octane first half saw the score knotted at 2-2 heading to intermission.
Dean (15-1), ranked No. 13 in the NJCAA, notched the first goal of the afternoon, when Stanley Alves knocked in a cross from Yuri Mascarenhas in the 11th minute of play.
"I was a little nervous early on (when Dean scored early)," Estrela said. "The last time we played Dean we fell behind early and we started dropping way back on defense, but the guys didn't do that this time around. We kept working hard. They believed in themselves and people sacrificed their bodies and we did what we had to do today."
Massasoit, which had lost the two previous meetings to Dean in 2015, answered 10 minutes later when reigning NJCAA and NSCAA Player of the Week Sidney Cardoso (Portugal) knocked in a breakaway pass from Revanales to tie up the score in the 21st minute.
Cardoso was not done with his offensive attack against the Bulldogs, as the freshman forward scored just 2:28 later off a pass from Kessy Alves (Brockton/Southeastern Voc.). Leading 2-1 with 22 minutes left in the half, it marked the first time at Dean had trailed in a game all season.
It also marked the fourth consecutive multi-goal performance for Cardoso and he has now scored at least one goal in eight of the last nine matches.
In the 39th minute, Dean striker Justin Freitas connected off a free kick pass to even up the score, 2-2.
It looked as though the Bulldogs would score again right at the tail end of the first half. In the 41st minute of play, Massasoit was whistled for its first of two fouls inside the box for the match. Stanley Alves took the penalty kick for Dean, but freshman goalie Edmilson Xavier (Brockton) made the biggest save of his young career with the Warriors to keep the contest tied. The save was the first of the match for Xavier, as the freshman finished with five stops in net.
In the second half, Revanales netted a go-ahead goal in the 65th minute off a pass from Elvis Andrade (Brockton/Penn Foster HS (Pa.)). The lofted pass went to Revanales who fired a shot that was blocked by Dean keeper Karim Mokhtar, but the rebound went right back to the sophomore forward who finished to give Massasoit the lead.
Massasoit held on and played bend but not break defense until the 87th minute. The Warriors were whistled for another foul inside the box, and this time Dean's Stanley Alves delivered to even the game 3-3 as the game eventually went to overtime.
After neither team possessed much of an offensive threat in either overtime period and the match looked destined for penalty kicks. But, Jose Erazo (Hyannis/Barnstable HS) fired a cross in front of the net to Revanales, who netted the game winner with just 52 seconds left.
"It showed the toughness these guys had and how bad they wanted it," Estrela said. "Most teams would have folded in those situations. But these guys decided there was no way they were going to lose this game. Give credit to Dean. They are a great team and played extremely well, but we deserved this. We were the better team today."
Massasoit finished with 25 shots, 13 coming on goal, compared to 21 shots for Dean. It was a very physical game that featured a total of nine cards and 44 fouls.
"We worked all week and we knew what we were up against and that it was there for the taking," Estrela said. "We knew how we had to play and how we wanted to execute against Dean. These guys came out, worked hard today, worked all week and we knew what we needed to do as far as speed. We now are ready for our trip to New Jersey. I told these guys this week I was looking forward to my trip to New Jersey and let's get this done and boys got it done."