SALEM, Mass. – Second-seeded Salem State University advanced to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship game on penalty kicks after forging a 3-3 double overtime tie with #6 Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the 2019 MASCAC Men's Soccer Tournament on Friday evening at Alumni Field. Salem won the penalty kick shootout by a margin of 5-4.
The host Vikings (11-4-3) will travel to top-seeded Framingham State University on Sunday to take on the Rams at noon with the MASCAC title and a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line. Framingham blanked #4 Worcester State University in the other semifinal matchup, 2-0. The visiting Bears end the season with an overall record of 5-13-2.
Freshman forward Nicholas Ramos (Middleboro, Mass.) opened the scoring in the 18th minute with his team-leading tenth goal of the season. Ramos buried a shot inside the right post from just inside the 18 after the Bears were unable to clear the ball out of the box off a Salem cross.
Senior forward Justin Borges (Milford, Mass.) tied the score just 23 seconds later as he buried a one-timer into the top-left corner of the net from 20 yards out off an attempted Salem clearance.
Senior forward Grace Dos Santos (Brockton, Mass.) scored on a breakaway to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead in the 40th minute. Dos Santos got behind the BSU defense off a long pass from junior midfielder Lucas Amaral (Peabody, Mass.) and chipped the ball over the BSU netminder and into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the 2019 campaign.
Just over three minutes later, freshman midfielder Will Halben (Attleboro, Mass.) knotted the score with his second goal of the season. Off a short pass from Borges, Halben beat the keeper one-on-one from the right side of the 18 with a shot inside the near post.
Borges converted a penalty kick in the 62nd minute to put the Bears on top, 3-2. Junior midfielder Stanislaus Sokolov (Reading, Mass.) drew the foul in the box that led to Borges' team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Amaral scored off a corner kick in the 71st minute to tie the game up at 3-3.
BSU senior goalkeeper Nate Morgado (Dartmouth, Mass.) punched one over the crossbar in the 86th minute to keep the score deadlocked as the game headed to overtime and then ultimately to penalty kicks.
In the shootout session, Salem senior netminder Christopher Jimenez (Nashua, N.H.) stopped the Bears' first attempt. The next nine attempts all found the back of the net. Amaral, Dos Santos, Ramos, freshman defender Dylan Senra (Dartmouth, Mass.) and junior midfielder Joao DeSouza (Lowell, Mass.) converted for the Vikings, while senior defender Zachary Ells (Douglas, Mass.), junior forward Kevin Roberts (Medway, Mass.), Borges and junior midfielder Shane Ebanks (Upton, Mass.) scored for the Bears. DeSouza's conversion on Salem's fifth attempt sent the Vikings to the MASCAC title game.
Salem finished with a 14-10 shot advantage for the game as well as a 10-0 edge in corner kick attempts. Morgado made nine saves for the Bears, while Jimenez and sophomore Matthew Hauntsman (Milford, N.H.) combined for two saves between the pipes for the Vikings.
Notes: Salem holds a 31-13-6 advantage in the all-time series with the Bears including a 6-2-2 mark in MASCAC Tournament play.