FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Third-seeded Bridgewater State University knocked off second-seeded Framingham State University, 1-0, in the semifinal round of the 2013 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Men's Soccer Tournament on Friday at Maple Street Field.
With the victory, Bridgewater State (8-7-3) advances to the MASCAC Tournament Final on Sunday where they will faces the winner of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy/Worcester State University semifinal that is being played later this evening. The Bears will be making their fifth appearance in the MASCAC title game and first since capturing the tournament in 2007. The Rams conclude the 2013 season at 7-12-1.
Bridgewater started the first half with an offensive flurry and had a chance to take the early lead just under 15 minutes into the frame. Sophomore Justin Kachadoorian (Leicester, Mass.) sent a cross into the box that senior Colin Neri (Upton, Mass.) headed at the goal. Rams' junior goalkeeper William Levitsky (Westford, Mass.) deflected the ball off the cross bar. The rebound went right to junior Steve McAvoy (Walpole, Mass.) who fired a shot. Levitsky came up with the diving-punch save to keep the game scoreless.
The Bears finally broke through at the 21 minute mark when sophomore Conor Murtagh (Walpole, Mass.) headed in a cross from Kachadoorian for the 1-0 lead. For Murtagh, the goal marked his third of the season.
The Rams had a chance for the equalizer with just over 19 minutes remaining in the opening stanza as junior Maycon Malta (Milford, Mass.) sent a cross through the box with the BSU goaltender out of position. However, a Bridgewater defender was able to clear the ball before the Rams could get off a shot.
Framingham had a pair of chances to tally the equalizer in the second half, but were unable to find the net. With just under 19 minutes remaining in the contest, junior Bryan DaSilva (Milford, Mass.) took a direct kick from the left sideline and sent it into the box. Junior Nicholas Cotter (Sandwich, Mass.) one touched the ball and his bid sailed just wide of the net.
Cotter had a second opportunity to tie the score with 13 minutes left in the game on a hit from 30 yards out, but this attempt went just high. The Rams had one final opportunity with 2:41 on the clock as freshman Fabricio Kuhnen (Ashland, Mass.) lofted a shot which sailed high.
The Bears outshot the Rams 16-6 in the game with senior goalkeeper Matt Bagley (Braintree, Mass.) picking up his eighth shutout of the season and 12th of his career without having to make a save. Framingham was unable to put a shot on frame throughout the game thanks in part to a stellar defensive effort by BSU backliners Nicholas Keddie (Abington, Mass.), Chris Naughton (Braintree, Mass.) Luke Samperi (North Easton, Mass.) and Craig Shadduck (Braintree, Mass.).
Levitsky finished the game with seven saves for the Rams and was tagged with the loss. Five of his seven stops came within the first 15 minutes of play.
Notes: Bridgewater also appeared in the MASCAC Championship Game in 2002, 2003 and 2004....In addition to their 2007 tournament championship, the Bears also captured the MASCAC title in 2004...
The Bears also posted a 1-0 win on the road over the Rams during the regular season (Sept. 21) in a game that took two overtime periods to decide.