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Preview: No. 10 Merrimack takes on Goldey-Beacom in NCAA Tournament

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The third-seeded Merrimack College men’s soccer team will play in its fourth straight Division II NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship on Thursday night, when the Warriors face sixth-seeded Goldey-Beacom College at 7 p.m. at Motamed Field on the campus of second-seeded Adelphi University. It is the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Warriors are ranked 10th in the latest United Soccer Coaches’ poll.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for all students with a valid ID, and $5 for children ages 2-12 as well as senior citizens.

2017 NCAA East Region:
The two remaining programs following the first and second rounds will meet in the regional final.

First Round (Thursday, Nov. 9)
Match 1: #5 District of Columbia , #4 So. Conn. St. (1:00pm) | Brookville, N.Y.
Match 2: #6 Goldey-Beacom, #3 Merrimack (7:00pm) | Garden City, N.Y.

Second Round (Saturday, Nov. 11)
Match 3: Winner of Match 1 vs. #1 LIU Post (1:00pm) | Brookville, N.Y.
Match 4: Winner of Match 2 vs. #2 Adelphi (7:00pm) | Garden City, N.Y.

Last Time Out:

  • Merrimack downed Bentley, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon in a thrilling overtime victory at Martone-Mejail Field. The Warriors captured their first NE10 Title in 20 years on a game-winning goal by sophomore Aasmund Joedahl (Ridabu, Norway) just 1:17 into the overtime period.
  • The Warriors struck first in the 18th minute on a goal by graduate student Josue Ruiz Maya (Madero, Mexico). Sophomore Kevin Esper (Revere, Mass.) sent a cross on a corner into the box, where Ruiz Maya headed the ball into back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
  • Bentley scored late with five minutes left in regulation. Adam Watkins found a loose ball in the box, following a free kick, and the ball barely crossed the line to tie the game. Senior keeper Lucas Rezende (Weymouth, Mass.) made three saves.
  • Junior Lars Sund (Stavanger, Norway) leads the team with 22 points with a career-high six goals and 10 assists. Rezende is tied for third among Division II keepers with 11 shutouts, and his 0.58 goals-against-average is ninth in the nation.

The Lightning:

  • Goldey-Beacom enters the game as the Colonial Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) champions with a 16-4-1 record. The Lightning defeated Jefferson, 2-1, in overtime in the conference finals to earn their first bid to the NCAA Tournament.
  • They had tied Jefferson 2-2 earlier in the season during conference play. Chahin Aghrim leads the team with 35 points on 10 goals and 15 assists. He has scored three game-winners during the year. Nicholas Ladeira had 19 points (8g, 3a), good for second on the team in scoring, while two other players had 18 points. The team had five others with 10 or more points.
  • Suhail Bismilla started 20 of the 21 games in net, posting a 14-1-1 record and six shutouts. He made a season-high seven saves on three separate occasions.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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