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WestConn Ties At UMass Boston, Secures Fourth Seed For LEC Tournament

WestConn Ties At UMass Boston, Secures Fourth Seed For LEC Tournament

BOSTON, Mass.—The Western Connecticut State University men's soccer team and UMass Boston played to an exciting 1-1 stalemate on Saturday afternoon in the two team's regular-season finale. 

The Colonials finish the regular season with a 13-4-2 overall record and secured the fourth seed for the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament, which begins on Tuesday.  They will host the Beacons, now 12-3-3 and 4-2-2 in the league, at 7 pm at the Westside Athletic Complex.  UMass Boston finished as the tournament's fifth seed for the quarterfinals.

Mikey Sciortino scored the lone goal for the visitors, in the first half, with Matthew Restrepo picking up an assist on the play.  The visitors took a 1-0 lead into intermission.

Sophomore Yasser El Hasnaoui (Marrakesh, Morocco) scored the game-tying goal in the 62nd minute for the Beacons.  Seniors Nilton de Andrade (Fogo, Cape Verde) and Rafael DeSouza (Watertown, Mass.) each recorded assists on the goal. 

In net, Western Connecticut State keeper Daniel Szabo saved the Colonials on several occasions. The junior goalie made eight saves on nine shots, including several-highlight reel saves. 

UMB senior Omar Castro-Dreher (Woonsocket, R.I.) made five saves on six shots to earn the tie. 

UMass Boston jumped out to a strong start to the contest and nearly took the lead in the sixth minute. De Andrade received the ball at the top of the eighteen and sent a half-volley towards the top right-corner, only for Szabo to make a full-extension diving stop. 

The Colonials struck first at 30:41. Restrepo dribbled past a Beacons defender, tiptoed along the goal line and then sent a cut-back feed to a wide-open Sciortino, who tapped it home for a 1-0 lead. 

UMass Boston evened the score in a similar fashion in the 62nd minute. De Andrade dribbled through several players, before slipping a pass to DeSouza at the top of the box. DeSouza laced a pass in behind the Colonials defense and El Hasnaoui laced a shot past Szabo from a tight-angle. 

The Beacons continued to control the game and nearly took the lead several times before regulation ended. 

Nick Fontana (Marshfield, Mass.) had the Beacons best chance to win it. The senior received a pass at the top of the 18, took two dribbles and fired a shot on target, only to see Szabo parry it away with his left hand.

Both teams had several chances to win it in overtime, but each goalie was able to make one save. 

UMass Boston outshot the Colonials 20-13 and earned a 9-6 edge in shots on goal. The Beacons also led 7-4 in corner kicks. 

The Beacons and Colonials finished with a 1-1 tie for the second-straight season. UMass Boston has gone 7-1-2 against the Colonials over their last 10 meetings. 

UMass Boston closed out their regular-season schedule with a 6-1-1 mark at James Cotter Field. 

With his assist, de Andrade is tied for third in program history with his nine assists in a single-season. He also ranks tied for eighth in program history with his 33 points in one season. 

NOTE:  #5 UMass Boston will travel to #4 Western Connecticut State University on Tuesday night for the Little East Conference Quarterfinals. The two teams have combined to win the past five Little East Conference Tournament Titles.