No. 15 Mercer Tops Men’s Soccer in Northeast District Semifinals, 2-0

No. 15 Mercer Tops Men’s Soccer in Northeast District Semifinals, 2-0

ROCHESTER, N.Y. ---- The Massasoit men's soccer team came up short at the NJCAA Northeast District Semifinals, falling to the 15th-ranked Mercer County Vikings, 2-0, on the Monroe Community College campus on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors conclude the 2017 season with an overall record of 10-6, coming a game shy of reaching the NJCAA Nationals. The loss snapped a 7-game win streak for Massasoit. The Vikings (18-3-1) move onto the district finals, where they will face the Monroe College Mustangs on Sunday. In addition, Mercer earns an automatic big to the Nationals.

Massasoit's scoring chances were few and far between on Saturday, as the Warriors only attempted eight shots, with only two on frame. For the season, Massasoit averaged 21.1 shots per match.

"We just came out over-hyped and undisciplined," head coach Rui Estrela said. "We were ball watching instead of marking throughout the game. It was disappointing way to end the season today, but unfortunately I don't think we played our best soccer today."

In the first half, Mercer held possession and kept the Warriors' defense on their toes as the Vikings rifled off 11 shots, four coming on frame. Keeper Ollie Dagraca (Brockton) made three saves in the opening stanza, including a kick save on a ball inside the 6-foot box in the 25th minute to keep the contest knotted at 0-0.

The Vikings would finally break through the Massasoit defense in the 40th minute. After a corner kick, Mercer retained possession and was able to get in another cross, where Oshana Booth was in front of the net to knock in home and break the scoreless tie.

Mercer held a 1-0 lead at the break.

Following intermission, Massasoit finally had its first big break of the game, or so it seemed. A through ball pass to Sergio Lobo (Brockton) for a breakaway looked to even up the score in the 47th minute. However, Mercer goalie Erick Guimaraes Cavalcante came out and took out Lobo to avoid the goal. The tackle by the Viking keeper was questionably ruled just outside the box as Cavalcante was issued a yellow card and Mercer was forced to make a keeper change.

On the ensuing free kick, Leon Zaffonato's (Brazil) rocket shot was just high as Mercer kept the 1-0 lead intact.

In the 56th minute, Mercer's Jonathan Ward connected on shot that nailed off the crossbar. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Eiichi Yamaguchi was there for the rebound insurance goal to own a 2-0 advantage.

Massasoit was kept out of the net for the remainder of the game, being shutout for just the second time all season.

"I thought Ollie (Dragraca) had a great game in goal for us and Camnagha (Namusse) was phenomenal defensively," Estrela said. "Overall, we did not stay focused as a team defensively and that cost us today."

Dagraca finished with four saves in the loss as Mercer outshot Massasoit 19-8.