The Mack Report

Men’s Soccer: Merrimack Back to NE-10 Finals After Beating Franklin Pierce


NORTH ANDOVER — After four scoreless periods, the Merrimack College men’s soccer team advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship, after defeating the Franklin Pierce University Ravens, 4-2, Friday night at Martone-Mejail Field in penalty kicks.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 4
  | Franklin Pierce 2
Records: Merrimack (14-3-1) |
 Franklin Pierce 8-9-1
 Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened

Both teams had scoring chances but the dueling goalkeepers each came up crucial saves to keep the match at a scoreless draw.

The Ravens held a slight 6-3 edge in shots through the first half. Merrimack earned two corner kicks, while Franklin Pierce earned one in the 45 minutes of play.

Merrimack held an 11-7 lead in shots in the second period. The Warriors’ defense kept the Ravens to only seven shots, while Merrimack earned all five corner kicks awarded in the half. At the end of regulation, both teams remained tied at zero-all.

In the first overtime session, Franklin Pierce managed to outshoot the Warriors, 2-1. The Navy and Gold’s only shot of the period came off a header from Ronald Ried (Schwendi, Germany). The Raven’s kept up the intensity in the second overtime, outshooting the Warriors, 3-1. Sophomore Julio Leon Garica (Caracas, Venezuela) tallied the only shot for the Warriors, as well as the last chance to end the game for Merrimack.

For the first time since Nov. 2, 2008, the Warriors headed into a penalty kick shootout against the Ravens. Senior Francis Mulkern (Scituate, Mass.) attempted the first penalty kick, but his shot was declined after hitting the post. Pedro Espindola put the Ravens on the scoreboard first, after his penalty shot was good. The Navy and Gold tied the Ravens,1-1, after sophomore Augusto Silva (Hudson, Mass.) tallied his fifth goal of the season.

After Franklin Pierce’s penalty kick from Terrance Ciavarra did not find the back of the net, Leon Garcia tallied his second goal of the season and extended the Warriors lead to 2-1. Franklin Pierce tied the game at 2-all after Chris Stoker tallied his frist goal of the season for the Ravens. Freshman Oscar Zepeda Cagide(Jalisco, Mexico) broke the tie and put the Warriors up 3-2, after recording his second goal of the season.

After Jefferson Rojas shot was saved by Silva, Ried secured the game at 4-2 after finding the back of the net.

Junior Jose Silva (Northborough, Mass.) finished the contest with seven saves in goal for the Warriors, while goalkeeper Aidan Abolfazli stopped 10 saves in his season premiere against the Navy and Gold.

2013 Northast-10 Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Schedule

Tuesday, November 5 – Quarterfinals
Match 1: #8 Saint Rose 0, #1 Southern New Hampshire 5 – Final
Match 2: #5 Le Moyne 0, #4 Adelphi 3 – Final
Match 3: #7 Bentley 0, #2 Merrimack 2 – Final
Match 4: #6 Franklin Pierce 1, #3 Southern Connecticut 2 – Final

Friday, November 8 – Semifinals (at high seeds)
Match 5: #1 Southern New Hampshire 1 #4 Adelphi 0 – Final
Match 6: #2 Merrimack 4 #6 Franklin Pierce 2 – Final

Sunday, November 10 – Championship (at high seed)
Match 7: #1 Southern New Hampshire vs. #2 Merrimack – 1:00 p.m.

A Closer Look  

  • Franklin Pierce owned the battle in shot attempts with a 22-21 advantage on the game, although the hosts did earn nine of the 10 corner kick.
  • Both sides combined for 28 fouls (15-13 Franklin Pierce).
  • Searl posted a team-high three shots, two shots on target, and a goal.
  • Leon Garcia and Augusto Silva tallied a team-high five shots, while both tallied one goal each.

Up Next
Next up, the Warriors travel to Manchester, N.H. to face the number one-seeded Southern New Hampshire Sunday, Nov. 10 for the Northeast-10 Conference Championships. Prior to this match, the Penmen defeated the Navy and Gold, 1-0, during the regular season.