SALEM, Mass. – Sophomore forward Paa Sowe (Lynn, Mass.) broke a 1-1 tie with less than two minutes remaining to lift the Salem State University men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Bridgewater State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Vikings, winner of four straight, improve to 8-4 on the season and 4-0 in the MASCAC, while the Bears slide to 2-10-1 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
In a tightly played contest, Bridgewater State managed to erase a 1-0 deficit in the 68th minute when senior forward Justin Borges (Milford, Mass.) found the back of the net on a diving header for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Freshman midfielder Joseph Madden Jr. (Milford, Mass.) started the scoring play with a throw in to junior defender Stanislaus Sokolov (Reading, Mass.) who flicked the ball into the six.
With the clock winding into the final minute and the game heading towards overtime, Sowe broke behind the Bears' defense. Unable to get off a shot initially, the forward worked the ball back to the middle and, after regaining possession, he curled a shot inside the bottom left post for the game-winner.
Both keepers, Salem State's Christopher Jimenez (Nashua, N.H.) and Bridgewater State's Nate Morgado (Dartmouth, Mass.) made critical saves in the second half, thwarting good scoring chances by both sides. Each team was also denied once in the second half by the crossbar.
Junior midfielder Lucas Amaral (Peabody, Mass.) put Salem State on top in the first half when laced in a free kick from the left side for his second goal of the season which gave Salem State a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Fresman forward Nicholas Ramos (Middleboro, Mass.) nearly extended the lead four minutes later, but his attempt met the crossbar as Salem State maintained a 1-0 lead into halftime. The Vikings controlled possession for most of the half, limiting the Bears to just three off-target shots.
Jimenez made two saves in the win, while Morgado stopped four shots for Bridgewater State.
The Bears are off until next Friday when they host MASCAC foe Framingham State University at 3:30. The Vikings travel to Pine Manor College on Wednesday to take on the Gators at three.