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Merrimack Men’s Soccer Blanks AIC, Advances to NE-10 Semifinals

Links: Box Score | Game Highlights | Joe Briers Interview

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Seniors Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England) and Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) each netted goals as the second-seeded Merrimack College men’s soccer team upended seventh-seeded American International, 2-0, on Tuesday evening in the Northeast-10 Quarterfinals. The Warriors advance to host the semifinals on Friday against third-seeded Le Moyne at Martone-Mejail Field.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 2
, American Int’l 0
Records: Merrimack (14-4)
 | American Int’l (8-9-1)
Location:
 Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

2016 NE-10 Championship:
Tuesday, November 1st
Quarterfinals ­- at Higher Seeds
Match 1: #1 Adelphi def. #8 Southern Conn., 1-0
Match 2: #2 Merrimack def. #7 American International, 2-0
Match 3:  #3 Le Moyne def. #6 Assumption, 1-0
Match 4: #4 Franklin Pierce def. #5 Southern N.H., 2-1 (2OT)

Friday, November 4th
Semifinals – at Higher Seeds
Match 5: #4 Franklin Pierce at #1 Adelphi
Match 6: #3 Le Moyne at #2 Merrimack, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 6th
Championship Final­ at Highest Seed
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner

*The championship game time shall be 1:00 PM.

How It Happened

  • 4′ – Cortes Torres nearly opened the scoring with a header off a free kick delivered by sophomore Lars Sund (Stavanger, Norway), but it went off the crossbar
  • 13′ – Merrimack broke through following a corner kick. The service from Sund went to the far post, and took a deflection right to Briers. The senior captain struck a right-footed shot across the box and into the side netting to make it a 1-0 game
  • 23′ – In a matter of seconds, seniors Connor O’Brien (Sandwich, Mass.) and Oscar Zepeda Cagide (Jalisco, Mexico) each had chances miss at the far post. The former flicked a header just wide from inside the six-yard box while the latter struck a shot from the top of the 18
  • 35′ – The Yellow Jackets saw a cross take a deflection and nearly go into the net, but it popped off the crossbar for the Warriors defense to clear it away
  • 45′ – In the waning seconds of the first half, after four bookings had already been made, the Yellow Jackets’ Lasse Olrik was given a red card forcing the visitors to play with 10 men
  • 58′ – Cortes Torres nearly doubled the Merrimack advantage, but the senior was in an offside position when he finished a cross from Zepeda Cagide
  • 74′ – After controlling the possession for the majority of the second half, the Warriors doubled their lead. Cortes Torres landed on the receiving end of a free kick from Sund, beating his defender to head a shot into the upper-90

Inside The Numbers

  • Merrimack improved to 5-0 in its last five quarterfinals contest, starting the streak with a 3-1 win over these same Yellow Jackets in 2012
  • Cortes Torres netted his team-leading sixth goal of the season, while moving within two points (14) of Sund of the team lead. Speaking of Sund, the set-piece extraordinaire is now tied for third in the NE-10 with eight helpers, notching his 16th point of the year
  • Tuesday’s victory marks Merrimack’s 14th win of the season, as the sit two away from tying the program’s single-season wins record (16)
  • After not scoring in his first 10 appearances of the season, Briers now has tallies in back-to-back games to bring his career total to 13
  • Shots (SOG): MER 14 (5) // AIC 6 (0)
  • Corners: MER 4 // AIC 0

Up Next
Merrimack advances to host the semifinals on Friday night when the Warriors face No. 3 Le Moyne in a 7 p.m. tilt at Martone-Mejail Field.

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