Ravens and Owls to meet again in Northeast-10 Championship
The Ravens honored their three-player senior class prior to the start of Friday's game. From left to right, with their families: Alvarez (21), Lima (11) and Meza (0).
RINDGE, N.H. (October 31, 2014) – On a chilly All Hallows' Eve in New Hampshire, sophomore forward Andrew LaVoie (Hebron, Conn.) got behind the backline and put away a 65th-minute goal to break a 1-1 tie and lift the Franklin Pierce University men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over No. 7 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State in Northeast-10 Conference play at Sodexo Field. Graduate student back Daniel Ruiz had the goal for SCSU in defeat.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 9-6-1 (7-5-1 Northeast-10), while SCSU falls to 13-3-0 (10-3-0 Northeast-10) and suffers its second consecutive defeat. The Ravens honored their three-player senior class prior to the start of the game.
Friday night was the regular-season finale for both squads, and the two will meet again in short order. Southern Connecticut State will finish the season second in the Northeast-10, while Franklin Pierce will place seventh, which means the latter will travel to the former on Tuesday, for the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Championship. Kickoff time at Jess Dow Field in New Haven, Conn. is still to be determined.
Each team put together a fairly strong defensive effort under the lights at Sodexo Field, and the game played statistically even. Each team attempted 11 shots and recorded four shots on goal.
The two sides traded goals in the first half. Franklin Pierce broke the ice in the 13th minute, after sophomore midfielder Gabriel Batista (Fortaleza, Brazil) sent a long ball down the right side of the field. Junior forward Marius Preber (Jessheim, Norway) ran the ball down and found himself with just a defender and the keeper between him and the net. He worked his way around the lone defender and placed a low shot inside the far post to net his sixth goal of the campaign.
SCSU answered less than four minutes later, in the 17th minute, on the fourth of the season for Ruiz. Ruiz found himself with the ball and space to shoot from about 35 yards out in the middle of the field. He decided to uncork a shot, which appeared to catch Franklin Pierce senior goalkeeper Sam Meza (Whittier, Calif.) off-guard. Meza's first step was to his right, though the shot tailed in the other direction and tucked inside the right post for a goal from distance for Ruiz.
From there, the game went nearly 50 minutes without further scoring, as both sides settled in. In the 65th minute, senior midfielder David Lima (Everett, Mass.) had the ball in the midfield and slipped a pass through the backline. LaVoie timed his run perfectly, was able to get on the other end of the feed and one-touch finished a shot inside the right post, despite pleas for an offside call from the SCSU backline. For LaVoie, it was his first collegiate goal and would stand as the game-winner.
Meza made three saves to pick up the win (1-1-0) between the pipes for Franklin Pierce. Freshman goalkeeper Noah Varonier finished with two saves and took the loss (13-3-0) in net for SCSU.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's soccer apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).