NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. ---- Undefeated and nationally ranked Monroe College used a big first half, netting three goals, to top the Massasoit men's soccer team, 5-2, in the Northeast District Semifinals on Saturday afternoon.
The loss ends Massasoit's season with a record of 10-5-2. Monroe (15-0-0) advances to the district finals to play the winner of Burlington County CC and Monroe CC on Sunday.
Monroe, the No. 2-ranked team in the country, took little time showcasing its high-powered offense, as the Mustangs scored in the second and 11th minutes to hold an early 2-0 advantage. Ben Mardones scored Monroe's first goal of a deflection and Felipe Hideki headed home the team's second.
Held in check for most of the first half, Massasoit's first real scoring chance came in the 30th minute. Sidney Cardoso (Portugal) poked a ball through the defense, and snuck his way into the box. But his rocketed shot was saved by the Monroe keeper Svyat Kozak to keep the Warriors off the scoreboard.
It looked as though Monroe was would tack on another goal in the 39th minute when Evan Finnegan was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty kick. Warrior goalie Ollie Dagraca had other ideas, making a great full extension save to keep the game at just 2-0.
Unfortunately, just three minutes later, a second tactical foul was called on a Warrior defender in the box. This time, Luis Soupinski buried the PK, giving the home Mustangs a commanding 3-0 advantage in the 43rd minute. Massasoit would play down a man the rest of the match.
Following the goal, Massasoit used a spurt of energy right before the half as Deivys D'Almeida (New Bedford) lofted a pass in the box where Olritch Henry (Providence, R.I.) one timed it home for his first goal of the season.
In the 58th minute, the Warriors were whistled for another foul, just outside the box. Jorge Paez snuck a pass far side for the Mustangs fourth goal and later tacked on a fifth off a breakaway in the 79th minute.
Saturday marked the final match for sophomores Cardoso, Ienik Spencer (Pawtucket, R.I.), Miguel Pavao (Portugal), Nathan Estrela (Falmouth), Edgar Lopez (Seekonk), John Natareno (Seekonk), McGibbon and Estefanio Barbosa (Brockton).