MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME MEN'S SOCCER
2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Semifinals
Friday, November 3, 2017
Clean Harbors Stadium, Buzzards Bay, Mass.
FINAL: WESTFIELD STATE 3, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 2
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- Freshman Paul Soucy's (Acushnet, Mass.) goal with 7:28 remaining proved to be the game-winner that lifted sixth-seeded Westfield State to a 3-2 victory over second-seeded Massachusetts Maritime in semifinal round play of the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championships Friday evening at Clean Harbors Stadium.
The visiting Owls, who improve to 9-9 overall on the season, advance to Sunday's championship round match at top-seeded Salem State beginning at Noon, as the Vikings posted a 3-0 triumph over fourth-seeded Framingham State in Friday's other semifinal contest at Alumni Field in Salem, Mass. The host Buccaneers, who were making their fourth appearance in the MASCAC semifinals in the last five years, end their season at 6-11-1 overall.
Westfield State jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the opening 13:53 of action on a pair of goals from senior Kyle Mutti (Feeding Hills, Mass.), but Massachusetts Maritime evened matters with a pair of tallies that came just 53 seconds apart in the closing minutes of the first half. Sophomore Tyler Haynes (Bridgewater, Mass.) sliced the Buccaneer deficit in half in the 41st minute on a feed from fellow sophomore Adam Crawford (Kingston, Mass.), who knotted the score by converting his second penalty kick of the year (and fifth marker of the season) with 3:20 to play before the break. That score held up until the waning minutes of action, as after each team traded point blank opportunities in a five minute stretch, Soucy converted a pass from Mutti and streaked in from the left side for the deciding tally that propelled the Owls to the title match.
Junior Legend Mu'Min (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with an assist on Mutti's second goal for Westfield State, which received a six-save effort in net from senior Alex Kraver (West Springfield, Mass.). Senior Mike Pruchnik (Rochester, Mass.) made three stops in goal in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, as the Buccaneers outshot the Owls by a 15-12 margin overall (8-6 on goal). The visitors held a 5-4 edge in corner kicks for the contest, as Westfield State avenged a 1-0 setback to Massachusetts Maritime that came back on October 6th at Clean Harbors Stadium.
Westfield State is seeking its second MASCAC crown in the last four years in Sunday's title match, as the Owls defeated Salem State in that season's championship contest. Sunday's winner receives the conference's automatic berth into the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships.