Home Men's Soccer Merrimack comes from behind to beat AIC, return to NE10 Championship game

Merrimack comes from behind to beat AIC, return to NE10 Championship game

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Trailing by a goal into the second half, the Merrimack College men’s soccer team was able to net two in the final 45 minutes, earning a birth in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship for the second straight year with a 2-1 victory over American International College.

Merrimack dominated possession early, but it was the visitors who struck first. A bending shot outside the 18 gave Connor Hicks and AIC the lead.

After nearly 30 minutes of scoreless play, it was senior Lars Sund whoo buried the equalizer; fifteen minutes later, sophomore Filippo Begliardi Ghidini headed a highlight-goal that sealed the deal.

The Basics
Score: AIC 1, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (13-5-0, 10-5-0 NE10) 
| AIC (7-9-2, 5-6-2 NE10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

How it Happened:

  • The opening 10 minutes were a standstill; with a championship birth on the line, neither squad got a true shot off.
  • In the 14th minute, Merrimack nearly opened up the scoring. A cross inside the box was one-timed in mid-air by senior Lars Sund, who side-volleyed a shot that was deflected by a Yellowjacket defender.
  • AIC struck first in the 17th minute. After a physical play on a Merrimack clearance, sophomore Connor Hicks saw the ball roll right onto his foot; from the 18-yard box, he turned and fired a beautiful upper-90 shot that senior goaltender Tyler Packett just missed.
  • Merrimack put on 10 shots at the half, but couldn’t get anything from it and trailed by a goal at the break.
  • Just two minutes into the second half, the Warriors netted the equalizer. A set piece from 30 yards out was taken by senior Lars Sund; deep into the top right corner, confusion in the box combined with the perfectly-placed shot resulted in a goal.
  • In the 64th minute, the Warriors took the lead. Freshman Tola Showunmi battled through the 18 and was able to leave a ball off for junior Aasmund Joedahl; his cross inside the 6-yard box looked to be well too high, but sophomore Filippo Begliardi Ghidini rose up and knocked the ball off the post and in, giving the Warriors a one-goal advantage.

Notes and Numbers

  • The Warriors will head back to the NE10 Championship for the second straight year.
  • Saturday’s win was the first come-from-behind victory since September 8, when the Warriors won in overtime against Post.
  • Sunday’s game will be the first postseason game time that the team will have to travel since the 2017 semifinal.
  • Merrimack is now 11-1 at home.
  • Keeper records: – W, Tyler Packett (3 Saves, 13-5-0,) // L – Nicholas Romei (7 Saves, 7-9-2)
  • Shots (SOG): MER – 16 (6) // AIC – 9 (4)
  • Corners: MER – 4 // AIC – 8

Up Next:
Merrimack will travel to Adelphi this Sunday, November 4, for the NE10 Championship game. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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Mike McMahon is in his 13th 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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